Professional Football Player
Idriss Carlos Kameni is a Cameroonian footballer who currently plays for RCD Espanyol in the Spanish first division, as a goalkeeper.
Kameni was first spotted when, aged 16, he became the youngest footballer to win an Olympic gold medal, in 2000. This earned him a move to French club Le Havre AC but he was unable to break into the first team, and remained a reserve throughout his four-year stay, also being loaned to AS Saint-Étienne, and also failing to gain any playing time there.
Kameni almost moved to Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers on a season-long loan for 2003–04, but the deal collapsed after he was not granted a UK work permit. Aged 20, he finally left for Spanish side RCD Espanyol in July 2004, for $600,000, and became first-choice in his second year, winning the Spanish Cup as second-choice to Gorka Iraizoz, who started in La Liga. In 2006–07, the opposite: Kameni was the undisputed starter, so Iraizoz was picked for the Catalans' UEFA Cup runner-up campaign.
In 2008–09, a tense season for Espanyol, which ranked in the bottom three for a lengthy period, Kameni had two incidents: first, he had a near-physical confrontation with a fan (who first insulted the player) after a training session, in January,then fought with teammate Grégory Béranger in another training session, in May. He still featured in 37 out of 38 league contests, being essential to the side's maintenance and, during the campaign, also broke countryman's Thomas Nkono record of minutes without conceding a goal, at 497.
A senior international since the age of 17, Kameni was part of the national team squads at the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 African Cup of Nations, starting in all but in the first in addition, he also represented the nation at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, also as first-choice (at only 19), for the eventual runners-up.
In 2002, aged 18, Kameni was picked for Cameroon's squad of 23 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was named Best African Goalkeeper for 2006–07 after being runner-up in the previous season.