Samuel Eto’o is one of the African players who have defied all odds to become a successful football player. Having garnered huge success, he is revered an inspiration to other African players.
The African football legend has been decorated with both personal and club laurels to pride in.
Born in Douala, Cameroon in 1981, Eto’o has since his childhood had a knack for football, with a big ambition of becoming a famous football player. Four years studying at a local academy, Eto’o moved to France in 1996.
Despite being rejected by several French clubs as he did not have a clear identity, Eto’o continued his struggle to realize his dream.
In 1997, a Real Madrid talent guide managed to find Eto’o as he was practicing football with his friends in the city of Le Havre.
Eto’o felt proud because he was joined to a very popular club. He could not believe what he had just experienced. Like a dream, Eto’o admitted that he felt happy because he could meet with his idol players at Real Madrid.
Even though he entered one of the world’s best teams, Eto’o’s career did not go too smoothly. Playing in the B team of El Real in 1997, he experienced various problems. One of them was when his team was relegated to the third division.
As a result of the ban on non-EU players, Eto’o was contracted by Leganes and Espanyol. Accepting this fact, Eto’o continued to believe that he was still able to realize his dream.
“I’ve never been afraid if I don’t succeed because I know, I have talent,”
“When I arrived at Real Madrid, I thought that this was my way, I don’t care what would happen, I would succeed!” Eto’o said.
After playing for several clubs, Eto’o finally stayed in Mallorca. The 2000/01 season seemed to be the beginning of his success. With Mallorca, he successfully scored 6 goals in 19 matches.
At the end of the season, Mallorca willingly poured funds worth 4.4 million euros to contract this African talent.
Although Samuel Eto’o played brilliantly with Mallorca, Real Madrid did not really want him to return. They assume that Los Galacticos had already enough squads to be able to compete in the European arena.
Following the astonishment of many parties about Eto’o’s status, another fact was revealed. Iker Casillas’s agent, Santo Marquez, said that the Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, actually hated black players.
Marquez took the example of Claude Makelele’s case. During his four seasons with El Real, Makelele became an irreplaceable figure in midfield. However, Real Madrid just let the talented midfielder go.
“Makalele’s career ended quickly because Florentino Perez didn’t like black players. He is not racist. But, he just doesn’t like black players,” Marquez said as quoted by the US.
Marquez also became the party who was disappointed the most over the club’s decision to not maintaining a player like Samuel Eto’o.
“I also deeply regret Eto’o’s fate. He is as great as Luis Figo. But, he was banished because he was black. “
Perez was known as an iron-handed president. There were not only some players who did not like him, but also many coaches who became the victims of his malignancy. If they failed to give an award, they would immediately be kicked out.
The ‘Disposal’ of Samuel Eto’o seemed to be an advantage for his rival, FC Barcelona. Seeing his glory with Mallorca, La Blaugrana brought the 180 cm man to the Camp Nou.
It turned out that the African pearl who got wasted by Real Madrid was increasingly showing his brilliant skill. Along with El Barca, Eto’o successfully won the Spanish La Liga award in the 2005/06 season.
Besides that, Eto’o also became an important player for FC Barcelona in winning the Champions League trophy in 2006.
Five seasons serving the club, Ronaldinho’s best friend became the goal machine of the Catalan club by creating 129 goals in 201 appearances.
Having a successful career in Spain, Samuel Eto’o continued to filling his golden achievements when he officially played for Inter Milan. He became a player who successfully brought Inter in winning the Serie A, Coppa Italia, as well as the European Champions League.
This fantastic performance successfully sent him to be chosen as the best African player for the fourth time.
After having a successful career in the green field, Samuel Eto’o spread his wings in the business world. He tried to start his fashion business where he produced various shirts, hats, and shoes.
Furthermore, he also opened a Chinese restaurant in Chicago.
Wanting to develop the talents of African players, Samuel Eto’o also opened football schools spread in various regions in Africa. His aim on opening the football school is to promote the talents from Africa.
He wants children in Africa to focus and diligently practice football with a life devoid of social vices.