Before traveling to Tanzania for the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroonians knew that if there was one player to count on, it was Steve Regis Mvoue.
He has been the source of inspiration for the team coached by former Indomitable Lions midfielder Thomas Libiih, thanks to his technical superiority in his offensive midfield role and his game reading abilities.
Mvoue is a from a football family. His mother Regine Mvoue was a former captain of the Cameroon women's football, who founded Azur Star Academy Mvoue cut his teeth. Elder brother, Stephan Zobo Mvoue was a member of the Cameroon squad at the 2017 U17 AFCON in Gabon. Stephan has since joined French side, Toulouse.
At 16, he was spotted by Thomas Libiih in a friendly tournament in Yaounde and drafted into the team that was travelling to Malabo for the Zonal qualifiers for the UNIFAC region. A competition he almost missed because he was then on trials in Europe. Despite impressing, Mvoue decided to come home and play the zonal qualifiers, winning the hearts of all with his deft touches.
After finishing top scorer in Malabo as 'Les Lionceaux' cruised to the title, Mvoue made the AFCON top priority, promising to do better than brother Stephan, whose generation failed to bring home glory in 2017, failing to go past the group stage.
Born on 2 February 2002 in Yaounde, Mvoue has been learning the ropes at his mother's academy (Azur Star Academy), moving up the performance ladder faster than expected, with his style of playing earning him comparisons to France midfielder Paul Pogba.
With many clubs after his signature, it's French club Toulouse that has landed his signature. After impressing on trials, he told officials of the French club "I can only come over after the FIFA U-17 World Cup", a competition he considers top priority in his gradual climb up the ladder.
Mvoue was adjudged the Most Valuable Player in Tanzania as Cameroon landed their second title since 2003, after beating Guinea 5-3 on penalties. He was the captain on the day, standing in for Fabrice Ndzie, who was suspended for the decisive match.
Most Valuable Player award
It was not easy but I worked hard each day to make sure that I do my best and help my team. All the team played well and you can see that we reached the final and won the trophy. I believe that this award is the result of team work and support of my colleagues. If it was not for them I couldn't have won the award.
First title for Cameroon in 16 years
It is amazing to achieve and win trophies at this level. Cameroon had yet to win the title for the past 16 years and for sure we did a good job to end this title drought. After 2003, many teams tried but were unsuccessful. However, this is just the beginning of my career. I have to forget this and focus on building my career to become a good player in the future.
Lessons from the tournament
It was a good tournament for me and for my team. We learnt a lot and experience at competing with the bes at this level. We played against good teams especially Angola and Morocco. Those two teams are very good, have a lot of talented players and are tactically good. For us we appreciate this chance as it has helped us a lot in nurturing our career.
Expectations at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil
We will go to the FIFA U17 World Cup with one motive of winning the trophy. We have learned a lot at this tournament and we believe that it will be good experience for us at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil. We are going there as African Champions and we hope to achieve more for us and for our country.