By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon.
Former Indomitable Lions of Cameroon defender, Lucien Mettomo, has expressed his love for the French Ligue 1 side, Saint Etienne, naming the club as the club of his heart despite having an illustrious career in which he represented clubs in three of the five major European championships.
The former Manchester City defender arrived Saint Etienne in 1996 and was given the chance to continue his football education with the reserves but by 1996 he moved into the first team that was affiliated to the second-tier Championship then.
Speaking recently to OnzeMondial.com, Mettomo revisited his record performances which masterminded the promotion of Saint-Etienne to the top flight 21 years ago. In what can easily be qualified as a dream season, the two times AFCON winner recounted how he found scoring and defending easy to handle.
“It’s something I still can’t explain in reality. I think Robert Nouzaret, who was a coach at the time always made us want to go forward. He had set up on dead balls or other specific phases of play in such a way that gave me the possibility of going forward. It worked well. I don’t know if I am in history but I think that a defender who ends up second best scorer is not common (laughs)”, Lucien Mettomo stated.
Indeed Mettomo was the world of his own, scoring almost when he wants and helping his club to a second-place finish but there was a goal in the wonderful 1999 season that remains unforgettable for Lucien.
Mettomo left his defensive role galloped into the opposition half with the ball gave a pass, then waited for the return from where he delivered an unstoppable shot way out to raise the roofs of the Stade de France in a famous game against Red Star in 1999. The defender qualifies that goal as the ultimate.
“This one is the ultimate, it’s great. I still have no words. I think I take the ball in the back and I put it up as we often prepared this in training. There was a technique that was put in place. When I had the ball, Pape Sarr came towards me, he stepped aside to bring his player and that’s what was done. I took the assist from Pape Sarr who had given the first ball to Julien Sablé. The latter makes a cross and I believe that it is Pape Sarr again or Nestor Subiat who finds himself in an advanced position and I am advanced, I see the ball come back to me and I said to myself: “I’m trying a shot, either it is going in the sky either or in the pool”. I shot the ball and could see it go in, as soon as the ball left my boots, I can guarantee you that I knew it will go in. And then it’s a magnificent goal, in a magnificent stadium, with a magnificent audience, that’s Les Verts. What more can be said? I had my little star party (laughs)”, Mettomo concluded.
That goal remains one of the greatest goals scored by a Saint Etienne player and that season remains a record goal-scoring season for any defender at the club and Lucien Mettomo, a wonderful talent who came from a little known Ocean of Kribi side in Cameroon did all this.
Mettomo becomes a cult hero as the club earned promotion and enjoyed a good time in the topflight.
The 43-year-old ended his close to six years stay at the club in 2002 when he joined Manchester City.
In all, he represented eight clubs; Tonnerre Kalara Club, Saint-Étienne, Manchester City, FC Kaiserslautern, Kayseri Erciyesspor, FC Luzern, Southampton, and Veria. Throughout these 08 clubs, Mettomo made 217 appearances, scoring 16 goals.
Lucien Mettomo earned 41 caps for Cameroon scoring one goal. He was part of the Cameroon squad at the 2002 World Cup and three AFCONs of which he won two; that is AFCON 2000 and 2002.
In total, Lucien Mettomo played 258 games, and scored 17 career goals as a defender. He retired from international Football in 2005 but continued playing in Europe until 2008.
He presently serves as one of the executive members of the syndicate of Cameroonian footballers, SYNAFOC, and remains a fan of Saint Etienne.
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