Monday Mar 20, 2017. 18:00
Liverpool FC defender Joel Matip has revealed why he rejected a call-up from the Cameroon national team prior to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
The lanky German-born player was one of several players Cameroonian players, who decided against representing their nation in Gabon.
Nevertheless, the Indomitable Lions went on to win the tournament and Matip, 25, says he is not happy with the condition of African football.
“It was not always easy for me, but I hope this chapter is now finished," Matip told The Times.
“I did not understand what was going on around me. I only wanted to stay here at Liverpool and play. In the last two years after the World Cup [in 2014], I was only on international duty one time.
“I tried to play and represent my country, do my best and achieve something but all the surrounding things were not the best," he said.
“I always tried it and tried it. I spoke to the old coach a lot and he always tried to change some things. I said, ‘OK, I will try it again’.
"I tried it again and again and, at one moment, you have to say it is enough. You cannot keep saying, ‘Maybe next time it will get better, it will get better’.
"It is Africa and you can never compare it to European things. I never compared it. I am not talking about the hotel or having the perfect pitch. It is not that I want something special," he added.
"But it would have been good if all the people only thought the most important thing was to win something and to achieve."