M'Boma started his domestic football career in 1993, and during his career played for Châteauroux, Paris Saint-Germain, Metz, Gamba Osaka, Cagliari, Parma, Sunderland (where he scored once against Tottenham Hotspur), Al Ittihad, Tokyo Verdy and Vissel Kobe before retiring on 16 May 2005.
After first being capped for Cameroon in 1995, M'Boma scored 33 goals in 57 matches. He played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and also led Cameroon to the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics and victories at the 2000 and 2002 African Nations Cups. He was named African Footballer of the Year for his efforts in 2000. He scored a memorable overhead kick against France in 1998. His trademark goal-scoring celebration was a two-gun shooting spree with both his hands. He was renowned for scoring long distance goals with his powerful left foot.