BY AFESEH APONG
Sports writer kick442.com, Cameroon.
Geremi Sorele Njitap Fotso is his name, but many know him for his free_kick execution ability during his time as a professional footballer.
From Racing of Bafoussam in his native West Region between 1995 to 1996, football has taken Geremi through nine clubs, with stints in Paraguay, Turkey, Spain, England and Greece. Geremi Njitap burst into the ranks of Racing of Bafoussam as a 16 year_old in 1995 and went on to clinch the Cameroon cup in his only season at the club, before leaving for Paraguay, where he joined Cerro Porterio, after catching the eye of the club’s management during of his outings with Cameroon’s national team in Brazil.
He would quickly complete a switch to Europe in 1997, where he went on to represent Gençlerbirligi, Real Madrid, a loan spell at Middlesbrough, a move to Chelsea, which was was followed by stints at Newcastle, Ankaragücü in Turkey and Greece super league side AE Larissa.
GEREMI THE INDOMITABLE LION
Geremi was a regular in Cameroon’s U20 squad in 1995, before making his debut with the senior national team in 1996. Though he failed to make Cameroon’s final squad for the 1998 world cup, he went on to win an Olympic Gold medal in Sydney in 2000, and two AFCON’s in 2000 and 2002. He also featured in two world cups with the Indomitable lions (2002 in Japan and 2010 in South Africa), earning a whopping 118 caps for his country and hitting target 13 times.
THE DEAD BALL SPECIALIST
Geremi Njitap is known to have been a very Combative and versatile player. Throughout his playing career, Geremi has operated as a right back, Right wing Forward and in a defensive Midfield role in a couple of occasions. His ability, intelligence and precision at which he executed dead balls, is what won lots of admirations for Geremi, making him a fan favorite not only with the Indomitable lions, but also at club level. Whenever Geremi was getting ready to execute a free kick, fans expected nothing less than a goal and he did scored a handful of them.
In the buildup to the 2002 world cup, Geremi scored a free kick in Cameroon’s 2#2 draw with England, in a friendly game. At club level, he produced sheer magic at Anfield in the 2002_2003 season while on loan at Middlesbrough, when he struck a beautiful 25 yarder against Liverpool, to end Middlesbrough’s run of 8 games without a goal. What about that stunner for Chelsea against Westham in 2005?. Geremi was simply magical when free kicks were concerned.
He is largely considered as one of the most successful Cameroonian footballer, with 11 trophies won in his career, amongst which are two AFCON’S, one La liga and UEFA champions league with Real Madrid, two Premier league’s with Chelsea, amongst others.
Worthy of note is that Geremi Njitap is from a purely football family. His father, Samuel, represented Cameroon in the 1970’s and was nicknamed “poison Arrow”, for his powerful shot and free kicks. Geremi’s cousin, Pierre Achille Webo, was also a Cameroon international.
Now 41, Geremi Njitap is current president of the Cameroon Syndicate of professional footballers, known by its French acronym as SYNAFOC, which is an affiliate of FIFPro (Fédération Internationale Des Associations de Footballeurs professionel).
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