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Are Amadou Onana and Andre Onana Actually Related or Just Namesakes?

Are Amadou Onana and Andre Onana Actually Related or Just Namesakes?

Amadou Onana was tangled up in an embarrassing case of mistaken identity immediately after Belgium’s shocking start to their Euro 2024 campaign. The Red Devils suffered a 1-0 defeat to Slovakia in their opening game in a game where lady luck totally evaded them.

Romelu Lukaku missed a number of huge chances and then saw two goals overruled by VAR. Belgium huffed and puffed, but were unable to get anthing out of the game. To his credit, the Everton midfielder had a pretty admirable outing as he won all his duels in midfield and moved the ball along nicely to spark his team forward.

After the game, Amadou was strong enough to at least talk to the media about what went wrong even though most of the Belgian players refused to talk to the press, and Kevin de Bruyne simply barged out. During his post-match talk, one reporter tried to get his attention by calling him ‘Andre’ – which is basically a reference to Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana.

The Everton man was quite agitated by this. He switched from speaking in Dutch to a local reporter to swiftly switching to English in his Southern-Londoner inspired accent. Onana hit back at the reporter, furiously replying: “Andre is not even my name, mate. Do you know what I mean?”

Onana was gracious enough to calm down his temper and allow the reporter to ask his questions despite horribly mistaking his identity. But this journalist in question might only be one of many uninformed football fans who might have the feeling that Amadou and Andre Onana might have some kind of relation – even though they represent different national teams.

To clarify that entire aspect, let’s take a few things into order. Amadou Onana was born in Dakar (Senegal) on 16 August, 2001 and is five years younger than Andre, who was born in Nikol Ngok in Cameroon. The two have never played, across any level, together at the same club and have only rarely meet each other in competitive matches.

Amadou Onana spent his youth career in Belgium (where he moved with his family at the age of 11) before moving to Germany in 2017 to join Hoffenheim’s academy. He would spend three years (2017-2020) at Hoffeinheim before Hamburg signed him as a 19-year-old in 2020. After an impressive debut campaign with Hamburg, the energetic midfielder moved to France in 2021 and join Lille.

He would only spend one season at Lille, where his livly performances impressed Everton enough to sign him in the 2022 summer transfer window. He’s been one of the Toffees most consistent players ever since, making 63 Premier League appearances in the last two seasons, scoring three goals and being a major role in helping them survive relegation battles.

Andre Onana, on the other hand, came through the Samuel Eto’o youth academy in Cameroon before moving to Barcelona at the age of 14. He spent five years in their academy, before joining Ajax’s youth scene in 2015. Onana would make his professional debut with Ajax in 2016 and spent six years with them, winning three Eredivisie titles.

He moved to Inter Milan in 2022, helping them win the Coppa Italia title and play an influential role in their dream UEFA Champions League campaign – helping them to the final. Last year, he joined Manchester United to be David de Gea’s successor. Onana conceded more than 80 goals in his first season, but at least won the FA Cup title with the Red Devils.

Despite having storied careers so far, neither Amadou nor Andre have any link to each other in professional football. They have zero relations on a personal level either. Andre was born to Cameroonian parents. Amadou’s father is Cameroonian (his mother is Senegalese) – but he shares no links to Andre. Amadou is also a devoted Muslim, while the Manchester United man is a devoted Christian.

Even if one has to compare their appearace and facial features – there isn’t much to relate Amadou and Andre. In fact, the Everton man has a much narrower face compared to the Cameroonian goalkeeper. They also have distinctly different hairstyles, with Ander having a more spiked hair as compared to the braids that Amadou seems to be a fan off.

For the journalist, it was just a case of forgetting names and it’s Amadou Onana who plays for Belgium. The Everton man will, however, hope that this lively interaction can serve as a warning to everyone to realize the stark differences between Amadou and Andre Onana.