Manchester United’s Andre Onana ends international retirement and confirms Cameroon return



Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana
The 27-year-old had a falling out with head coach Rigobert Song last year (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana has decided to come out of international retirement and will return to the Cameroon squad for their upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The 27-year-old was recalled to the national team last month after previously hanging up his international gloves following a falling out with head coach Rigobert Song, though it was unclear if he would accept the call-up.

Onana left last year’s World Cup in Qatar early after clashing with Song over the side’s tactics, with the Cameroon boss believed to have asked his goalkeeper to play in a more ‘traditional’ way and take fewer risks on the ball.

Despite an olive branch being extended in recent weeks, Onana was still thought to be in two minds about returning to international duty but he has now decided to answer the call and is in line to start against Burundi next week.

In a statement on Monday confirming his return, the former Inter shot-stopper wrote: ‘In the world of football, as in life, decisive moments arise that require crucial choices to be made.

‘In recent months, I have been confronted with trials marked by injustice and manipulation. Yet my unshakeable love and attachment to my homeland, Cameroon, remain intact.

‘My desire to represent my country has never wavered since my youth, and this aspiration remains an inseparable part of my identity. Nothing and no one can shake this conviction.

Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana
Onana flew home from the World Cup early after falling out with Song (Picture: Getty)

‘I answer my nation’s call with unshakeable certainty, aware that my return is not only to honour my dream, but also to respond to the expectations and support of Cameroonians, who deserve a national team determined to shine.

‘In the face of manipulation, lies and abuse of power, I choose to remain true to my ideals, proudly representing a country that deserves our sincere commitment. Now is the time to unite, to work in harmony for our common good: Cameroon.

‘I would like to salute the government, which is working hard to build a better Cameroon for all.

‘My thoughts are with the people of Cameroon, to whom I offer my infinite thanks for their support, and whom I look forward to seeing again.

‘Time, the infallible judge of all things, will eventually enlighten us and reveal the rightness of our actions. My commitment to Cameroon remains unwavering, and I am determined to play my part in seeing it prosper.’

Onana’s decision to return to international duty could pose something of a problem for United if Cameroon qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The £47.2million signing would potentially miss four matches at the turn of the year if Cameroon reach the latter stages of the tournament, meaning backup signing Altay Bayindir would be needed between the sticks against Tottenham, Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa.


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