Before the start of Africa’s biggest footballing competition, nothing was known about the Cameroonian captain but after 5 goals in 3 group matches. The continent has sat up and acknowledged Vincent Aboubakar. The 29 years old has largely gone under the radar even though he did turn up for Portuguese giants Porto, where he scored 58 goals in 125 appearances.
The menacing forward started his career with Cameroon side Coton side, before making the move to Europe where he joined then Ligue 1 side Valenciennes. He was left to go for free after an underwhelming time at the club, before moving to Lorient as a free agent. It was at Lorient that he finally impressed and repaid the faith that his new employers had in him. Lorient earned €3 million from his sale which was a massive business for the French club.
It took two years of playing second fiddle to Jackson Martinez before Aboubakar could get his big break at Porto. After that, he never stopped scoring. He scored 26 goals for Porto in the 2017/2018 season after Martinez left, before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament that ruled him out for almost a year. He terminated his contract with Porto before moving to Besiktas in 2020. He scored 15 league goals, which was more than enough to power the team to the Turkish League.
Cameroon would be looking to lift the trophy on home soil, and they need Aboubakar firing on all cylinders for that to happen. He has already done it in the past, he scored an 88th-minute winner in the 2017 Africa Nations cup final against Egypt. Nigeria looks like the biggest threat to Aboubakar and his side chance of winning this on home soil, but Aboubakar sure won’t mind that challenge.