The 33rd Africa Cup of Nations begins in Cameroon on Sunday. FC Bayern will also be represented by two players in the continental competition, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting hoping to fire the host nation to glory and Bouna Sarr in the Senegal squad. Here’s everything you need to know concerning the FCB duo:
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting - Cameroon
Choupo-Moting netted a brace for Cameroon in World Cup qualifying in October:
International appearances: 61 (17 goals)
Opponents in Group A: Burkina Faso (Sun. 09.01, 11am ET*), Ethiopia (Thu. 13.01, 11am ET), Cape Verde (Mon. 17.01, 11am ET)
After 2015 and 2019, Choupo-Moting is taking part in the Africa Cup for the third time. The Indomitable Lions are clear favourites in their group - and with home advantage they are expected to go far. The aim is, 28 days after the opening game against Burkina Faso, to return to the Stade Paul Biya in Yaoundé for the final on 6 February. It’s ambitious but certainly not impossible - Cameroon have claimed the title five times to date, most recently in 2017 in Gabon.
Bouna Sarr - Senegal
International appearances: 4 (0 goals)
Opponents in Group B: Zimbabwe (Mon. 10.01, 8am ET), Guinea (Fri. 14.01, 8am ET), Malawi (Tue. 18.01, 11am ET)
Sarr only made his international debut for Senegal in the autumn and is now set for his first major tournament. Led by stars such as Liverpool’s Sadio Mané in attack and Chelsea’s Champions League winner Edouard Mendy in goal, Senegal are among the leading favourites for the tournament. After losing in the final to Algeria three years ago, hopes are high that the Lions of Teranga could bring the trophy home for the first time in the association’s history.
*all times CET
The Africa Cup of Nations should actually have taken place at the start of 2021, but due to coronavirus the tournament was postponed by a year and will now be held from 9 January to 6 February in the cities of Bafoussam, Douala, Garoua, Limbe as well as the two stadiums in the capital. The first stage consists of six groups, with the top two in each group plus the four best third-placed teams going through to the round of 16. The current holders are Algeria, who won the competition for the second time three years ago. The record winners are Egypt with seven titles.
While Sarr and Choupo-Moting are away with their national teams, Bayern kicked off the second half of the season against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday night: