Lauren playing in a friendly in 2017
|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(s)||Right back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Laureano Bisan Etame-Mayer (born 19 January 1977), commonly known as Lauren, is a retired Cameroonian footballer of Equatoguinean origin who formerly played as a right back 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 undefeated in the 2003–04 season and won the Premier League title. He also won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and two Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002 with Cameroon. He holds dual Cameroonian-Spanish nationality due to being raised in Spain.
Lauren was born in Kribi, 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, Spain, where he was raised. He started his career in Spain playing for Utrera on loan from Sevilla, San Fernando, Sevilla, Levante, and Mallorca.
After a transfer to Italian club Roma fell through, he moved to English club Arsenal in 2000. 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 missed part of the season as he went off to play in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, but returned to feature for Arsenal from February onwards. He scored the winning goal, a penalty, against rivals Tottenham Hotspur as Arsenal closed in on the title.
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 was, however, slightly marred by his verbal abuse towards Ruud van Nistelrooy after the latter had missed a penalty late on in a draw between Arsenal and Manchester United 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 2 1⁄2-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. Lauren was part of Portsmouth's 2007–08 FA Cup-winning team. Despite not making the squad for the final he appeared in the earlier rounds. 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.
Lauren made his international debut for Cameroon in 1998 and went on to earn a total of 25 caps, which yielded two goals, whilst he won Olympic Gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney and also lifted the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. He was part of the Indomitable Lions' squad at the France 1998 World Cup and the 2002 edition, held in Japan and Korea. Lauren announced his retirement from international football at the age of 25.
Following the success he enjoyed at Arsenal, the north London outfit regard Lauren, who was a mainstay of the Invincibles side, as a club legend. He is a regular visitor to the Emirates Stadium and has lined up for the Arsenal Legends in charity matches organised by the club's foundation, such as the double-header against Real Madrid Legends played at the Emirates and the Santiago Bernabéu in the summer of 2018.
Thanks to his career achievements at Arsenal and within the African game, which include two Africa Cup of Nations crowns and an Olympic Gold with Cameroon, Lauren currently serves as an Arsenal ambassador for the African continent, a role which features activities involving football and education, as well as attending gatherings with the club's supporters. Lauren considers this position to be a real honour as he sees it as a means of helping the African people, whilst repaying some of the support he received during his playing days. One of the countries Lauren has visited is Rwanda, where he took part in children's football and educational clinics, whilst he also acted as a club representative at official events with local authorities and explored the country's most iconic landmarks whilst flying the flag for Arsenal.
Lauren's role as an Arsenal ambassador has also seen him travel to other global destinations, including Singapore, where he was again involved in football clinics and represented the club at various events.
Lauren is a well-respected voice of authority when it comes to match broadcasts. He regularly features on LaLiga TV's English-language Viva LaLiga show, which reviews all of the latest action from the Spanish top flight. Meanwhile, he has also worked as a studio pundit for GOL TV's coverage of major Arsenal matches, such as the 2018/19 Europa League final against Chelsea. He has also made media appearances for leading broadcasters, including Sky Sports, where he has featured on Guillem Balagué's Revista de La Liga show, and BBC Sport. He was part of ITV and Eurosport broadcasting teams for the 2012 and 2017 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.
|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|
- Premier League: 2001–02, 2003–04
- FA Cup: 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05
- FA Community Shield: 2002, 2004
- African Nations Cup Player of the Tournament: (2000)
- PFA Team of the Year: 2003–04 Premier League
- "Lauren Bio, Stats, News - Football / Soccer". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Player Profile: Lauren". Premier League. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Premier League Team Website". Premierleague.com. Archived from the original on 16 May 2007.
- Balague, Guillem (4 April 2019). "Lauren: Ex-Arsenal defender's tough route to becoming an Invincible". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- "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 edge out Spurs". BBC Sport. 6 April 2002. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "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.
- "Arsenal 0-0 Man Utd (aet)". BBC Sport. 21 May 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "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.
- "Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff". BBC Sport. 17 May 2008.
- "Games played by Lauren in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "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.
- "Cameroon retain Cup". BBC. 10 February 2002. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "Lauren quits Cameroon". BBC. 21 December 2002. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Lauren : Football was my salvation".
- "National Football Teams Player Statistics: Lauren Étamé Mayer". National Football Teams. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Lauren: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Henry retains PFA crown". BBC Sport. 25 April 2004. Retrieved 17 April 2018.