Creative Soccer Culture

Sebastien Siani Talks Cameroon, Playing in Europe & Dancing Like Roger Milla

After filming the new PUMA Cameroon launch video with MHD and Roger Milla we sat down to shoot 35 quick-fire questions at international midfielder Sebastien Siani.

He's won the Africa Cup of Nations, he moved Europe to progress his football career, and he's gearing up to host the next AFCoN in his own country. That's the important stuff, but will he let us know a thing or two about his Cameroon teammates? 


Sebastien, let's go. What’s the proudest moment of your career with Cameroon?

Winning the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 in Gabon. That’s the ultimate trophy for an African football player. 

What’s your earliest memory of football?

Playing the holiday championships with my village team (Bafang) when I was very young, lots of spectators. It’s unforgettable.

Where did you play when you were a child?

In Bafang. On bare grounds, without shoes and with footballs made of woven rubber. For my friends from the neighbourhood and me, it wasn’t an issue at the time to play with leather.

At what point did you realise you were good at football?

I believe I was born with a talent for football. As if it was my destiny to play football.

Were there ever times when you thought you weren’t going to become a professional footballer?

I had moments of doubts when I was training at the Kadji Sports Academy in Douala but I never gave up. Some of my coaches did not think I could make it big and play at professional level but I kept working.

How many times have you danced like Roger Milla?

Not often because I wasn’t a striker like he was, but first and foremost because Roger Milla is unique, one of a kind. Nobody will ever equal his dance moves.

What’s the best thing about coming back to Cameroon?

Family warmth and the joy of everyone around me. Knowing that I can help those less fortunate than me. The good food.

What do you miss most about Africa when you’re in Europe?

That human warmth and the lack of a joyful atmosphere in everyday life. People are too cold and selfish.

What can you remember about moving from Cameroon to Anderlecht?

Someone from Anderlecht had come to Cameroon to watch a guy who was playing in a friendlies against me. In the end I’m the one they chose. It was incredible.

What were your biggest concerns about leaving Africa for Europe?

The unknown, but mostly being separated from my family and friends. But I was a grown up so I adapted rapidly thanks to some people in RSC Anderslecht and in Bruxelles.


Sebastien Siani (far left) poses with MHD and his Cameroon teammates.

Who is the best player you’ve ever played against?

Robinho when he was at the Real Madrid in 2006. He was great at dribbling and very talented.

Who is the best player you’ve ever played with?

Egyptian player Ahmed Hassan. Very talented and very respectful too.

Which players were your idols growing up?

Maradona, Veron, Ronaldo, Romario, Milla and George Weah.

Which teammate in the national team has the best dance moves?

Oyongo Bitolo. I think he is the best dancer of us all.

Which teammate has the worst dance moves?

Hard to say but I think it will be one of the players born in Europe or outside of Cameroon.

Who is the national team DJ in the changing rooms?

Oyongo Bitolo again. He loves to entertain.

What sort of music does he play?

African, French or American music.

What’s your favourite genre of music?

African or French music, US rap music. 

Worst genre of music?

I don’t like rock and roll.

What do you do to pass time when you’re travelling to international games?

I listen to music or watch TV series.


Who is the funniest team mate in the Cameroon squad?

Adolphe Teikeu because he is a non-stop talking machine. He never stops.

Which player takes the most selfies?

Oyongo is a fan of social media. It takes a whole day to watch one of his stories.

Which player has the best dress sense?

Our team captain Ben Moukandjo loves to dress well. He has style.

And which player has the worse dress sense?

Me, because I don’t care about my style.

What’s the best thing about living in Europe?

I only like Europe because there are possibilities there to progress in my football career.

And the worst thing about living in Europe?

It’s cold, the lack of interactions between people, and life is very expensive there. 

What’s your favourite place on earth?

Douala (Cameroon) that’s my town.

What’s your favourite meal?

A delicious traditional African meal: grated macabo with a creamy white sauce. 

What’s your favourite film?

The Green Mile with Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan. Unforgettable.

What’s the best thing about football in Africa?

The atmosphere and raw talent. The folklore around football is very warm and friendly. Only African football can bring back the carelessness in playing.


If you could thank football. What would you thank it for?

I would thank it for giving me the opportunity to live in the beautiful world of football. For giving me a chance to live my dream and make a living of my passion. It’s the only think that can give me so much pleasure and joy. Right after my family of course.

What do you think of the new Cameroon shirt?

I find it very well done and innovative. Those who are nostalgic of the Indomitable Lions will love it.

Can you remember the first Cameroon shirt you ever had?

I remember it very well. 2002 World Cup in Korea-Japan.

Did you have any other football shirts when you were growing up?

Unfortunately I did not. They were too expensive for me.

How would you describe the 2017 Afcon success?

A gift from God, well deserved though after all the hard work provided by the whole team. We did not expect to go further than the knockout stage. No one expected such an achievement from us, not even us team members. We believed in ourselves though, and we moved mountains, even the ones that seemed impossible to climb. Collective strength was enormous and I don’t think we’ll ever find it again. I have fantastic memories of that nice victory against a team we’ve always dreaded to meet in African championships finales. 

And how would you describe the scenes when you arrived back in Yaoundé?

That was the most incredible scene I have ever seen in my life. It’s hard to believe how much joy, emotions and happiness we brought to the whole nation. During a month, we were able to help people forget their daily problems and celebrate our victories with us. I am proud of that.

And how about the first night back in Yaoundé?

I could not sleep for 3 days because of happiness, teammates and staff. I also had a rush in adrenaline when I met the president of the Republic of Cameroon. It’s something that doesn’t happen often in my country. That is the event of a lifetime for a simple Cameroonian man.

What will the country of Cameroon offer as hosts of the next Afcon?

Cameroon has to defend its title of champion of Africa. That puts more pressure on us, added to the fact that we are playing at home, in front of the audience of crazy football fans that we have in Cameroon. It will be a beautiful competition and a nice opportunity to show the whole continent that we really are indomitable, in every way.


Watch the full PUMA Cameroon kit launch video with Siani, MHD & Roger Milla here.


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