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Franck Evina commits to Cameroon over Germany

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Franck Evina’s choice was inspired by Cameroon legends, including Samuel Eto’o, to choose his birth country over Germany


28 April 2018, Germany, Munich: Soccer, Bundesliga, Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt, at Allianz Arena: Munich's Franck Evina. Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

FC Bayern Munich’s 18 year-old prodigy, Franck Evina, is set to make his senior international debut on Friday as Cameroon takes on Chad. According to BBC, the former German youth international had a hard time deciding, but it came down to making the best decision for his career — with Niko Kovac’s blessing:

It was never an easy decision choosing because both nations have very competitive and talented teams. 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 Coach Kovac in Munich. They understood my worry and the coach (Kovac) asked me to make the best decision and I think this is the best choice for my career.

Evina not only found help from his parents and club coach, but also drew inspiration from Cameroon’s all-time top goal-scorer, Samuel Eto’o.

It is my love for Samuel Eto’o that spurred me to play for Cameroon. 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. Watching Eto’o play for Cameroon was exceptional and getting to know that I can play for the Lions like him is incredible,

Former Cameroon captain and current assistant coach, Rigobert Song, also reached out. As soon as Evina spoke to Song his mind was made up. He cites Song’s passion as a great inspiration to how he always wants to play.

Cameroon has already qualified for next year’s African Cup of Nations as hosts, but still plays in the qualifying tournament. It would be a dream come true for Evina to play in his first Cup of Nations in his home country.

Evina made his debut for Bayern’s senior team last season in April in a 4-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt. He is still trying to breakout from the U-18 team and try to establish himself as a regular in the first team.

Bayern is a very competitive team, blessed in all compartments with talented players. For a youngster it’s never easy breaking into the first team. The training sessions are very demanding but you always have to stay focused.

I am working very hard on my weaknesses, trying to be better and hoping to play my way into the senior squad. I know it won’t be easy but with a lot of determination, I’m upbeat about being able to get a spot in the first team.