Cameroon coach Hugo Broos couldn’t resist a pop at absent Liverpool defender Joel Matip as his nation clinched a 2-1 victory in the African Cup of Nations final on Sunday.
Matip and West Brom’s Allan Nyom’s absence from the Indomitable Lions’ squad overshadowed the build-up to the tournament in Gabon, with the players at one stage looking like they could face FIFA sanctions.
However, with no punishment forthcoming, Cameroon overcame the pair’s absence to win the final, with Vincent Aboukakar scoring an 88th-minute winner in Libreville as they beat Egypt 2-1.
Matip, 25, last played for his country in an AFCON qualifier in September 2015 and rejected a call-up to Broos’ squad for the tournament in Gabon.
The former Schalke centre-back maintained before the competition that he had retired from international football and had no desire to represent Cameroon.
However, Broos believes Matip may now regret his decision to snub his country.
“There was a lot of trouble before, players who wouldn’t come with us,” said Broos after the final.
“OK, it’s their decision. But maybe they are saying now to themselves, ‘S***! Why didn’t I go with them?'”
He added: “We came here and I think nobody thought we would go so far.
“We tried to get through the first round. We did it. So we said, ‘OK, let’s see what happens against Senegal’. We won the game again.
“Then you get a boost of confidence and from that time we believed that if we got a bit lucky we could win the final.”