Idriss Carlos Kameni
Kameni playing for Cameroon in 2009
|Full name||Idriss Carlos Kameni|
|Date of birth||18 February 1984|
|Place of birth||Douala, Cameroon|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2002–2003||→ Saint-Étienne (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 22 December 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Douala, Kameni was first spotted when, aged 16, he became the youngest footballer to win an Olympic gold medal, in 2000. This earned him a transfer to French club Le Havre AC but he was unable to break into the first team, and remained a reserve throughout his four-year stay, also being loaned to AS Saint-Étienne and also failing to gain any playing time there; in 2001 he was linked with a move to Juventus FC, but nothing came of it.
20-year-old Kameni left for Spanish side RCD Espanyol in July 2004, for US$600,000, and became first-choice in his second year, winning the Copa del Rey as backup to Gorka Iraizoz, who started in La Liga. In 2006–07, the opposite: Kameni was the undisputed starter, and Iraizoz was picked for the Catalans' UEFA Cup runner-up campaign; early in 2006, the club suspended two fans for racist abuse towards the player.
In 2008–09, a tense season for Espanyol, which ranked in the bottom three for a lengthy period, Kameni had two incidents: first, he had a near-physical confrontation with a fan (who first insulted the player) after a training session in January, then fought with teammate Grégory Béranger again in training, in May. He still featured in 37 out of 38 league games, being essential to the side's maintenance and, during the campaign, also broke countryman's Thomas N'Kono record of minutes without conceding a goal, at 497.
After two more seasons as starter, Kameni was demoted to third-choice for 2011–12, with Argentine Mauricio Pochettino still as Espanyol's manager. On 13 January 2012 he moved to fellow top-divisioner Málaga CF, making his league debut on 25 March after replacing injured Wilfredo Caballero during the first half of a 2–1 away win against his former team, and keeping a clean sheet during his time on the pitch.
A Cameroonian international since the age of 17, Kameni was part of the national team squads at the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, starting in all but in the first. In addition he also represented the nation at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, also as first-choice for the eventual runners-up.
Kameni was also chosen for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, being expected to start by many observers. However, he ended up on the bench as coach Paul Le Guen preferred Souleymanou Hamidou over him, and the national side was the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, eventually losing all three group matches.
- Best African Goalkeeper: 2006–07, 2007–08
Kameni's older brother, Mathurin, is also a footballer and a goalkeeper.
- "Cameroon: Idriss Kameni". BBC Sport. 20 May 2002.
- Juventus want Cameroon keeper; BBC Sport, 1 November 2001
- "Wolves wait on Kameni verdict". BBC Sport. 21 August 2003.
- Minshull, Phil (28 July 2004). "Espanyol sign Kameni". BBC Sport.
- Espanyol suspend fans over racism; BBC Sport, 11 February 2006
- Kameni se encara con un aficionado después del entrenamiento (Kameni confronts fan after training); Marca, 5 January 2009 (Spanish)
- Incidente entre Béranger y Kameni (Incident between Béranger and Kameni); El Espanyol, 16 May 2009 (Spanish)
- Official: Malaga signs Espanyol's Carlos Kameni on a free transfer; Goal.com, 13 January 2012
- Kameni: "No me imaginaba un debut así ni en sueños" (Kameni: "Not even in my wildest dreams did i imagine such a debut"); Marca, 27 March 2012 (Spanish)
- "Who is Who in the Lions Den". The Post Online. 7 January 2008.
- BDFutbol profile
- Carlos Kameni at National-Football-Teams.com
- Carlos Kameni – FIFA competition record
- Soccerway profile