Lauren Etame Mayer
|Full name||Laureano Bisan-Etame Mayer|
|Date of birth||19 January 1977|
|Place of birth||Kribi, Cameroon|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Laureano Bisan-Etame Mayer (born 19 January 1977 in Kribi), commonly known as Lauren, is a retired Cameroonian footballer of Equatoguinean origin, who formerly played for the Cameroonian national team. As an Arsenal player he won several trophies and is known as one of the 'Invincibles'; a title given to the Arsenal squad in 2004, after they went the whole (2003–04) season undefeated and subsequently won the Premier League title. He also won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with Cameroon.
Lauren was born in Cameroon as his parents fled Equatorial Guinea, due to the political persecution during the dictatorship of Francisco Macías Nguema. Then the family moved to Seville, where he was raised. He started his career in Spain, playing for Utrera, (on loan from Sevilla), San Fernando, Sevilla, Levante, and Mallorca. Whilst at Mallorca he played in the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final. He qualified for dual nationality through residency and as a Spaniard, he is exempt from the post-Bosman ruling regulation that restricts the number of non-EU players to three per team in UEFA competition matches even though he is a Cameroonian international.
In Summer 2000, Lauren was transferred to Arsenal for a fee of £7.2 million. Lauren provided cover for both midfield or defence. He made his Arsenal debut as a substitute against Sunderland on 19 August 2000 and scored his first goal for the club just two days later against Liverpool. However his first season was blighted by injuries. Although at first Lauren was unable to gain a regular place in the Arsenal side, he eventually ended up becoming the club's first-choice right back, replacing Lee Dixon and leapfrogging Oleh Luzhny in the process. By the time Arsenal had won the Double in 2001–02, Lauren was an integral part of the Arsenal defence.
Lauren was a consistent member of the Arsenal first team during 2003–04 and a became known as one of the 'Invincibles' after the club went the whole season unbeaten. Lauren made his 150th appearance for Arsenal during the record breaking run and Arsenal won the Premier League title, giving Lauren his second League winners' medal. His season peaked with his verbal abuse towards Ruud van Nistelrooy after he had missed a penalty late on in the match between the two sides at Old Trafford. Lauren was banned by The Football Association for four matches and fined £40,000.
Lauren won a third FA Cup winners' medal in 2005, as Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties after a 0–0 draw in the final; Lauren scored the first of Arsenal's spot-kicks. However, during 2005–06, Lauren suffered a knee injury against Wigan Athletic in a League Cup semi-final match on 21 January 2006. He spent nearly a year out of the game as a result, and it was not until 19 December that Lauren was included in a playing squad, for Arsenal's match against Liverpool in the League Cup quarter-finals; this match was later postponed due to heavy fog. Lauren was not called up for Arsenal again.
During his absence, Lauren's position had been covered by, amongst others, Emmanuel Eboué and Justin Hoyte, leading to media speculation that Lauren would leave Arsenal for West Ham United. On 12 January 2007, Wenger confirmed Arsenal would allow Lauren to leave, if he chose to do so. On 18 January 2007, Lauren joined Portsmouth on a two-and a half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.
Lauren made his debut on 20 January 2007 against Charlton Athletic and was a regular at right back for the remainder of the 2006–07 season. In the 2007–08 season, he dropped to second choice right back due to Glen Johnson's impressive form. However, Lauren found first team opportunities due to his versatility and filled in at left back on many occasions and played regularly on the right of midfield during January 2008 while John Utaka was away at the African Cup of Nations. In June 2009, his contract ended and he was released from the club having made just one appearance all season, as a substitute in the 2008 FA Community Shield.
On 15 March 2010, Córdoba announced that they had signed Lauren as a free agent. He made his league debut as a substitute for Arteaga on 3 April 2010 in a 0–0 away draw against Huesca. Lauren retired at the end of the season.
During the 1997–98 season, whilst he was playing at Levante, Thomas N'Kono learnt of his selectability by Cameroon due to his birth. He was invited to join the squad that played in the 1998 World Cup and rose to the challenge. Lauren earned his first full international cap for Cameroon in May 1998 against Luxembourg. Unfortunately, his debut in the tournament as a substitute was blighted by one of the fastest sending offs in the history of the World Cup, when in his first challenge for the ball he was shown a red card, thus ending his World Cup campaign.
Better times were ahead though, playing in the Cameroon team that won the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations. He also played in the gold winning team at the 2000 Olympics, ironically against Spain, who could have selected him were it not for his choice of Cameroon.
This success was repeated when the team won the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations; Cameroon beat Senegal on penalties after a 0–0 draw. Lauren scored in the penalty shootout. He also played in the 2002 World Cup group stages, featuring in all three of Cameroon's group matches, but his side failed to qualify for the knockout stage. He retired from international football in 2002, having won 25 caps for his country.
|Cameroon national team|
- Scores and results list Cameroon's goal tally first.
|1.||22 April 2001||Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé||Libya||1–0||1–0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
- "Lauren Bio, Stats, News - Football / Soccer". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Player Profile: Lauren". Premier League. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Étamé Mayer, Lauren". nationalfootballteams.com. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- "Premier League Team Website". Premierleague.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008.
- "The greatest rags-to-riches stories ever". The Knowledge (The Guardian). 12 April 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- "Quinn header edges out Gunners". BBC. 19 August 2000. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "Three off as Arsenal beat Liverpool". BBC. 21 August 2000. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "Arsenal retain FA Cup". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 17 May 2003. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- "Arsenal players banned". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 30 October 2003. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- "Portsmouth complete Lauren deal". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 18 January 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- BBC.co.uk – Lauren ends Pompey transfer spree. 22 January 2007
- "Tactical Formation". Football-Lineups.com. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
- "Man Utd 0–0 Portsmouth". BBC. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- "SD Huesca vs. Córdoba CF". Worldfootball.net. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- "Lauren fue presentado como jugador blanquiverde". Cordoba C.F. 15 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Former Arsenal footballer Lauren reunited with Rolex". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 14 November 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- "National Football Teams Player Statistics: Lauren Étamé Mayer". National Football Teams. Retrieved 23 July 2013.