Africa’s football legends: Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o

By Alexis Billebault

Posted on Tuesday, 29 June 2010 12:39

The striker extraordinaire – Samuel Eto’o this season became the first player to do a league, domestic cup and Champions League treble in two consecutive seasons. His goalscoring record for both club and country is simply outstanding, and though Cameroon went out he still managed to get on the scoresheet twice in South Africa.

The South African World Cup will be the third for the son of Nkom whose brilliant football, coupled with slightly megalomaniacal tendencies, make him one of the most colourful top players on the international scene.?

“Fuoriclasse” (incomparable) is what the Italians call him, for his eccentricity, good nature and unpredictability. Despite Eto’o’s fondness for referring to himself in the third person, Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen has made a habit of calling on the Indomitable Lions to rally behind Eto’o as captain.

The Inter Milan striker, currently rated one of the best players in the world, was an illegal immigrant when he landed on French soil at the age of 14. Months spent playing ducks and drakes with the European authorities only seemed to strengthen his resolve. He was finally signed by Real Madrid, who lent him to Leganés then sold him to Majorca, where he first made his name. At Barcelona his shots began to hit the back of the net with stunning regularity, leading to two Champions’ League victories, three Spanish-league titles and two Spanish Cup final victories.

In South Africa he was a crucial element in Le Guen’s team, providing gravitas but also a track record that has seen him win two African Cup of Nations (2000 and 2002) and, in 2008, set an all-time scoring record for the tournament with 14 goals.

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