Bayern Munich’s teenage prodigy Franck Evina chose to represent the country of his birth over Germany earlier this month, inspired by Cameroonian legend Samuel Eto’o.
“It’s my love for Samuel Eto’o that spurred me to play for Cameroon,” Evina told BBC Sport. “I’ve always admired him, he is a wonderful striker and I wanted to play like him. The thought of playing for Cameroon just like my role model was too attractive to ignore.
Evina – who has been nicknamed “The Bavarian Hulk” by Munich-based press – was called up to Cameroon’s U23 team for their fixture against Chad, but did not make his international debut.
“Watching Eto’o play for Cameroon was exceptional and getting to know that I can play for the Lions like him is incredible.”
The 18-year-old made two first-team appearances for Bayern at the end of the 2017/18 season, with one start against Eintracht Frankfurt. Having grown up and come through the ranks at Bayern, Evina also had the chance to represent Germany, but he chose the country of his birth.
“It was never an easy decision because both nations have very competitive and talented teams,” Evina explained. “But I believe joining Cameroon was the best choice for my career. Germany means a lot to me. I’m in one of the best clubs in the world and there’s a part of me that feels German.
“I spoke with my parents extensively on this and also spoke to [Niko] Kovac in Munich. They understood my worry and the coach asked me to make the best decision and I think this is the best choice for my career.”