Africa: Kamara And Soares – the Oldest Duo Inspiring Totalenergies Afcon 2021

Players from the 24-participating nations will be looking to stretch to ultimate peaks when the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 kicks off in a few hours.

While ripe and proven stars long to make the most out of features in various stadia, greenhorns would aim at launching their own journeys, in style.

Sierra Leone striker Kei Ansu Kamara and Cape Verde’s Marco Soares (both 37 years) wouldn’t take exceptions to imprinting their marks on Cameroonian soils. A striker and defensive midfielder for IFK Helsinki and F.C. Arouca respectively, they will be the oldest players to compete at the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. But take nothing away from them as their stories inspire the competition.

Marco Soares

It is not by chance that Marco Soares, who has spent most of his career in Portugal and Cyprus, leads what has turned Blue Shark’s legendary generation. He will be making his second appearance in AFCON finals since Cape Verde maiden appearance in 2013 in South Africa; when he helped his country reach the quarterfinals. He bounces back after failing to make the Blue Shark’s final squad that graced the 2015 edition hosted by Equatorial Guinea.

Soares totals 46 caps and three goals since debuting for Cape Verde in 2006. His impacts through top-notch qualifiers cannot be looked over, including 2008 and 2012 AFCON qualifiers, not forgetting 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

He will be commanding 35-year-old goalkeeper Josimar Dias ‘Vozinha’, Trabzonspor forward Jorge Djaniny Tavares (30), striker Ryan Mendes among others. The preceding crop participated both at the 2013 and 2015 finals.

Coached by former international Pedro Leito Brito alias ‘Bubista,’ Cape Verde look beyond their record quarterfinal finish. They are full of high fettle in a cherished wish to go past the group stage. But they also know the massive hurdles of Group A – having to battle with hosts and five-time winners Cameroon, 2013 runner-up Burkina Faso and 1962 champions Ethiopia.

In their first outing at the Olembe stadium – directly after the opener between Cameroon and Burkina Faso – they are pitted against the Walias of Ethiopia.

Kei Ansu Kamara

Sierra Leoneans are all buoyant returning to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1996 in South Africa. At the center of this pride lies great belief for the team that achieved this feat. Great belief even for heroes of the triumph like Finnish-based forward Kei Ansu Kamara.