Cameroon’s Young Lion Olinga Achieving World Cup Dreams

(this post courtesy of the VOA program Sonny Side of Sports. check it out at

Cameroonian striker Fabrice Olinga, who celebrated his 18th birthday May 12th, will be the youngest player at the World Cup football tournament in Brazil.

Born in Cameroon’s seaport commercial capital of Douala, Olinga developed his skills at the Samuel Eto’o Foundation, established by the country’s four-time African Footballer of the Year.

Eto’o, now 33, was even younger than Olinga – at 17 years and three months – when he played in his first World Cup for Cameroon at the 1998 tournament in France.

Olinga considers Eto’o a hero, describing the elder statesman of The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon as a legend who has achieved a great deal.

Fabrice Olinga says he’ll be proud to play alongside Samuel Eto’o in Brazil, but it’s doubtful Cameroon’s German coach, Volker Finke, will give him many minutes at football’s premier event. Finke used Olinga as a substitute in Cameroon’s World Cup warm-up matches.

Fabrice Olinga celebrates his goal against Celta Vigo in 2012 when, at age 16, he became the youngest goalscorer in Spanish First Division history. Photo: Reuters Reuters Photo

Regardless of his playing time in Brazil, Olinga says he’s “living a dream” by being selected for Cameroon’s World Cup team.

He recently completed his first season for the Belgian club Zulte Waregem, on loan from Spain’s Malaga.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will kick off their World Cup campaign June 13 when they play Mexico.

With host country and five-time world champion Brazil the big favorite in Group A, Cameroon is expected to fight it out with Mexico and Croatia for a berth in the knockout stages.


Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe. The show is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.