Jurgen Klopp- the lead trainer of Liverpool FC says sweeper Joel Matip has revealed he is not considering a return to the Cameroon national selection for next year’s African cup of Nations Tournament despite speculations on media suggesting otherwise.
Klopp made the revelation during a recent conversation with the media.According to the German trainer, Liverpool will have their defender during the January period of the season, contrary to suggestions in some section of the media that Samuel Eto’o’s ascension to power at FECAFOOT could lure the 30-year old to end a seven year self-imposed exile.Klopp’s side will certainly be without elite squad members Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita during the AFCON and rumors of a return to international football for Matip forced the trainer to comment on Wednesday.
“I spoke to Joël Matip and he has assured me that he is not considering the return to International football.” – Jürgen Klopp
Joel Matip last featured for Cameroon at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, against Brazil in an encounter in which the Indomitable Lions suffered 1-4 defeat against Brazil and the native from Douala scored the lone goal. Since then the Liverpool sweeper has been nowhere near the team amidst efforts to bring him back.
Since then, attempts by coach Hugo Broos, Clarence Seedorf and most-recently António Conceiçao to get the player on board have yielded no fruits.
A few months back, the father of the 2020 UEFA Champions League winner made this comments
“I understand the interest of Cameroonians. Joel still plays for his club.We remain positive, but he is 30 and can make decisions,” Jean Matip revealed.
For seven years and counting Matip has been a standout performer at Club level, especially since arriving Liverpool in 2016 but unfortunately the wait continues though Eto’o can influence the situation later.
In January 2017, Matip was selected for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations by the then Cameroon coach Hugo Broos, but rejected he call-up and many had anticipated his AFCON debut on home soil but unfortunately the wait continuesSo far, two sons of Jean Matip, Joel and Marvin Matip, have played for the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, while Joel Matip counts more caps and one goal for the Indomitable Lions, between 2010 to 2014, when he last wore the green, red and yellow colours, his brother who has since retired only won four caps and never scored for Cameroon with his last cap dating back to February 2016, against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Limbe.
Many Cameroonians and football lovers have been clamouring for Matip’s return to the lions den.
Last year Sports Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi met Jean Matip, as a last ditch attempt to lure Joel back but since then there hasn’t been results.
Matip was born to a German mother and his father Jean Matip, is a former footballer, just like his Cousin Joseph Désire Job who played for Cameroon and won the AFCON in 2000.
Cameroon will host Africa in January-February 2022, for the African cup of Nations, and it will certainly be without Matip.
The likes of Michael Ngadeu, Harold Moukoudi, Jerome Onguene, Jean Charles Castelleto and Junior Samuel Kotto are expected to be in the mix to do the job for Cameroon in the central defensive role.