Did you Know?
During the 1997–98 season, whilst he was playing at Levante, Thomas N’Kono learnt of his selectability by Cameroon due to his birth. He was invited to join the squad that played in the 1998 World Cup and rose to the challenge. Lauren earned his first full international cap for Cameroon in May 1998 against Luxembourg. Unfortunately, his debut in the tournament as a substitute was blighted by one of the fastest sending offs in the history of the World Cup, when in his first challenge for the ball he was shown a red card, thus ending his World Cup campaign. Better times were ahead though, playing in the Cameroon team that won the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations. He also played in the gold winning team at the 2000 Olympics, ironically against Spain, who could have selected him were it not for his choice of Cameroon. This success was repeated when the team won the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations; Cameroon beat Senegal on penalties after a 0–0 draw. Lauren scored in the penalty shootout. He also played in the 2002 World Cup group stages, featuring in all three of Cameroon’s group matches, but his side failed to qualify for the knockout stage. He retired from international football very prematurely in 2002, despite playing regularly in Premier league for 6 more years having won 25 caps for his country.