Samuel Eto’o Biography

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Samuel Eto'o Biography

Download match schedule for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil in PDF, XLS and DOC formats.

Samuel Eto'o


When many years ago the King of Soccer, Pele, said the future of football lies in Africa, not many people were convinced. But being a true Sensei who would always hit the target as he used to strike the ball during his playing days, it is players like Eto’o and his ilk who must have prompted him to make such a prediction and an accurate one indeed.


Coming from the former capital city of Cameroon and its economic hub Douala, where his father worked as an accountant while his mother was a homemaker, Eto’o started off his long journey as other aspirant footballers on a sticky ground. Along with his brother Samuel he learnt the ropes quite well and quickly. An early convert to the beautiful game he soon caught the prying eyes of the local football scouts.Leaving Africa for the greener pastures of Le Havre he had adjustment issues and came back to the famous Kadji Football Academy in Douala. His supreme ball control and striking ability were apparent to all and sundry with team officials of various clubs making a beeline to hire his services. This Odyssey took him to Real Madrid youth academy, CD Leganes, and the senior team of Real Madrid (1997-99) before arriving at Mallorca (1999-2004), FC Barcelona (2004-09), and Inter Milan (2009-11). From the Pyrenees Eto’o journeyed to the Caucasus to Anzhi Makhachkala owned by the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, making him the highest paid player with a salary of 20 million Euros per season. Along  with Jose Maurinho he chose Inter Milan over Man City in 2009 and in 2013 it was a perfect reunion of the two albeit in the Old Blighty. In 2013 Eto’o was seen gracing the greens of the Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

He earned his first International cap playing against Costa Rica in 1997. He was the youngest player in the 1998 World Cup where he made his debut versus Italy. He scored Cameroon’s only goal in the 2002 World Cup versus Saudi Arabia. Equally memorable was his decisive goal in the 2003 Confederations Cup against the then World Champion Brazil. A regular spearhead of the ‘Indomitable Lions’ he scored the match winner against Togo in 2013 in the World Cup qualifiers as the world awaits to see him in what could prove to be his swansong edition.


In February 2009, he scored his 100th league goal for FC Barcelona in a 2–2 draw with Real Betis. Ending his tally at 145 goals for FC Barcelona in all competitions he moved into the club’s top all-time scorers. With a cabinet overflowing it is difficult to keep track of the trophies Eto’o has won. The Olympic Gold medal (2000), African Cup of Nations 2000, 2002, and La Liga 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 with Barcelona. He received the prestigious Pichichi award in 2006. The same year saw him winning the Serie A with Inter Milan. Eto’o also won three consecutive African Player of the Year awards in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010, thus creating a new record.


As a budding footballer he was called Junior Milla due to his sublime style. He has always supported sport, child development and education through Samuel Eto’o Private Foundation a body now coordinating his philanthropic activities. He is married to his longtime Ivorian girlfriend Georgette and has three children, all of whom are based out of France. Joelle Esso a well known Cameroonian singer and a graphic novelist has come out with a graphic novel titled Samuel Eto’o : Birth of a Champion.


Eto’o like other players of his generations had his own forgettable moments. During the early part of his career he had few run ins with scribes and was known for his volatile nature leading to few off pitch scuffles. As Eto’o grew as a player he has been a constant target of racist chants and taunts all across Europe. Although an outspoken critic of this ugly menace he has stayed somber despite grave provocations like the ones he faced playing Real Zaragoza in 2005 and 2006 or in Cagliari in 2009, forcing him to stop taking his kids to the stadium.


With held high his feet remain firmly on ground, evidence of which could be seen in his acceptance speech, “Above all, I dedicate this to all the children of Africa”. On another occasion he quipped, “Money has given me the opportunity to give back to the people who do not have the same opportunities as me”.

He has surely surpassed Roger Milla’s achievements and is widely considered to be the greatest Africa- born player since the legendary Eusebio Ferreira.

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