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Liverpool Defender Joel Matip Opens Up About His Future with Cameroon

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has finally opened up about his future with Cameroon after the dispute during the AFCON games that saw him miss five Liverpool games in January.

The towering defender was caught up in a wrangle with FIFA after turning down a national call-up for his home country Cameroon who became AFCON champions.

Matip who had played only once for Cameroon since the 2014 World Cup, was still included in the country’s Africa Cup of Nations squad despite indicating he was not available for selection.

Cameroon lodged a complaint with FIFA citing Annexe 1 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players which required the player to miss between 14 days before the first match of the competition until no later than 48 hours, after the end of the country’s involvement in AFCON.

In an interview with Dominic King of Mail Sport UK, Matip admitted he has no regrets missing the African Cup of Nations and confirmed he’s done with the national side.

“It’s done now and I’m looking to the future.

“I only wanted to stay here and play. It was not easy because I didn’t understand what was going on.

“Now the problem is solved and I can concentrate on Liverpool. I knew they could win it. I was happy.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Cameroon is a big football nation. I was happy for them because the last years were not easy and they got back to their old spot.[/perfectpullquote]

Asking the 25-year-old whether he would turn up for the national colors, Matip was quick to answer saying,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“No. I tried to play there and represent my country, do my best, and achieve something but all the surrounding things were not the best to do this.[/perfectpullquote]

“It is Africa and you can never compare it to European things. I’ll concentrate on Liverpool. It’s done.”

Matip has been instrumental for Liverpool since arriving from Schalke 04 over the summer. He has established himself at Anfield clearly enjoying his partnership with Dejan Loveren and winning all the ten games, the pair has featured in together in the central defense.

At 25, Matip still has many running years in him and Cameroon despite having many talented young players to depend on, will miss out on a calm, composed, aerial being with experience that would help guide the African Champions to greater heights.



Featured photo: Getty Images

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