What exactly do Cameroon and Brazil share in common, beyond the fact that they have been drawn to play one another in this years’ FIFA World’s Cup? A lot of people would be hard pressed to find any similarity at all, if playing football and being drawn in the same group for the next world cup are excluded.
We aren’t going to exclude those as they are the foundation we will build our story. Brazil and
Cameroon are two countries that worship football. It seems as if people, in Cameroon much like in Brazil, love the game, and their national team above anything else. While Brazil has lifted the much coveted World Cup trophy 5 times, Cameroon has only managed to reach the group of 8 once. In their head to head encounters, Brazil leads 3 to 1. Nevertheless, Cameroonians are as passionate about their team as much as Brazilians about theirs. Cameroon claimed victories over Brazil when it counted the most for the Cameroonian, at the Olympic tournament (Sydney 2000), and the Confederation Cup (France 2003).
Away from the pitch, Cameroon and Brazil were once members of the Group of 77. The Group of 77 was a loose coalition of countries members of the UN that did not want to engage in the Cold War. At the time, Cameroon and Brazil were both considered developing countries. Since then, Brazil has joined the rank of emerging countries and has claimed the first letter of the acronym “BRICS”. In the meantime, Cameroon backpedaled its way to the HPIC (Heavily Poor and Indebted Countries) before emerging as Low-to-Middle Income nation. However, both Brazil and Cameroon have always been peaceful, and their citizens equally like to party.
Why do Cameroon (West Africa in General) and Brazil (Eastern Latin America) tend to produce highly talented soccer players? What is in the two continents that make them favorable to the birth and development of talented football players?
Geography teaches us that before the shift of tectonic plates, the actual South America and Africa were the same. What it means is that Brazil and the Gulf of Guinea were the same. It is not a coincidence that the Congo Basin and the Amazon are the largest remaining rain forest basins in the world. They used to be the same basin.
While it is not our intention to insinuate that Brazilian and African people today are the same as those that existed before and during the tectonic plate shifting, some genes in both West Africa and the Brazilian territory must have remained the same. It is worth nothing that Brazil is the second country in the world with the largest black population (the 1st one is Nigeria). Slavery trade probably allowed some West Africans to reconnect with motherland when they were shipped to Brazil. It might just turn out that Cameroonians and Brazilians will meet at the World Cup more as brothers than adversaries.