Breel Embolo refuses to celebrate against country of birth Cameroon

World Cup 2022 briefing: Day 5

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Switzerland star Breel Embolo refused to celebrate after scoring against Cameroon in the World Cup with the African nation the country of his birth. The Monaco star scored the only goal of the match in the first Group G game but did not go wild after finding the net. 

Embolo broke the deadlock in the 48th minute after turning in an Xherdan Shaqiri cross in the tight match between Switzerland and Cameroon and immediately looked sheepish as he refused to celebrate against his birth nation.

He took a second to take in what had happened in before covering his mouth as the shock set in. His team-mates even left him alone for a short time to allow him to deal with the emotion of his goal. 

The 25-year-old was born in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde but moved to France when he was five before crossing the border to the Swiss city of Basel a year later. He has represented Switzerland since making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2015 and will be his country’s main goal threat in Qatar. 

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His goal proved to be the difference as Switzerland took all three points against a spirited Cameroon side to get their tournament off to the perfect start. 

Players refusing to celebrate against their former teams is relatively common at club level but it is rare for it to be seen on the international stage. 

ITV commentator Seb Hutchinson brought fans attention to the reason for the lack of a celebration, stating: “You’ll have noticed the celebration from Breel Embolo because he is playing against the nation of his birth and respect in the celebration and respect for that goal as well.” 

Embolo was widely considered one of the hottest properties in world football when he was a teenager and while he has not quite hit the heights some expected of him, he has still enjoyed a very positive career so far. 

He started out at Basel before having two spells in the Bundesliga with Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach. He left Germany this summer, making a £12million move to Monaco where he has started well, scoring eight goals in his first 23 appearances. 

His goal today was his 12th for his country who he has been capped by on 60 occasions. It was the second time he had found the net in a major tournament after scoring against Wales in his country’s opening game of Euro 2020 against Wales. 

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