Matip explains Cameroon AFCON snub

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Joel Matip has defended his decision to snub the Cameroon national team for their African Cup of Nations campaign in Gabon next month.

Matip joined the Reds on a free transfer in the off-season after his contract with Bundesliga side Schalke expired, and he has impressed in his debut campaign in the English Premier League.

Physically imposing, with a great first touch for a central defender, his early performances have convinced manager Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield faithful that he'll become an integral part of their back-four.

While his decision to remain in England in order to help the Reds maintain a title challenge will raise his popularity on Merseyside, it's fair to say it is not a popular one in Cameroon.

"It's not an easy decision but I want to concentrate on Liverpool. I want to be here," he told the club's website.

"I want to focus on Liverpool and that's what I had to decide. I think I took the right decision."