Liverpool defender Joel Matip is set to miss out on representing Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations in favour of staying at Liverpool in January
The defender has played 27 times for his country but hasn’t featured for them for over a year after falling out of favour with boss Hugo Broos.
Cameroon have already sealed qualification for next year’s tournament, which runs between January 14 and February 5, but Matip doesn’t see himself playing any part in it, the Liverpool Echo report.
“I would say at the moment I will be concentrating on Liverpool,” Matip told the Telegraph. “It is a long time until January so you never know, but that is the idea.
“Last year I had injury problems. The extra games and travelling were going to make it harder for me. I had to listen to my body and it told me that the international week was the right time to have a break.
“I spoke with the Cameroon manager and he was not happy, but I have to do what is right to be 100% and make sure I am not injured again, especially at an important time in my career starting at Liverpool.”
Matip faces the toughest test of his blossoming Reds career on Friday night when he comes up against combative Chelsea striker Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge.
“If an opponent tries to talk to me during the game, really, I don’t give a ****,” he added.
“I don’t think anyone is like Costa. It is always a fight against these big teams and you have to take on the battle.”