Thomas N'Kono Profile

Thomas N'Kono was the first African goalkeeper to really make a name for himself on the global stage after a fine World Cup in 1982. That tournament saw him produce some great displays as Cameroon, despite being widely expected to be the whipping boys of Group A, went through the three matches unbeaten and only conceded a single goal, and that was to the eventual champions Italy. These displays led to a move to Spain and tremendous nine-year career with Espanyol.

He was catching the eye on the big stage again in 1990 as Cameroon advanced to the quarter-finals, only for the Indomitable Lions to go out to England in one of Italia '90's most exciting matches. A strong and athletic keeper, N'Kono was capable of some breathtakingly acrobatic saves. He was a flamboyant character too, often performing celebrations in his iconic tracksuit bottoms. Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, has been quoted as saying that watching N'Kono play at the 1990 World Cup inspired him to become a keeper. High praise indeed.