Samuel Eto’o is without a doubt one of the best players to have come out of Africa. The 38-year-old announced his retirement after 22 years of playing top level football.
The Cameroonian had a trophy-laden career and was also one of the best finishers in football history. On the international scene, Eto’o was twice the African Cup champion with his national team, Cameroon, in 2000, 2002, while he also won many trophies for clubs such as Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Mallorca.
As a celebration of his retirement, Soccernet.ng picks out Eto’o’s top five most memorable moments in his football career.
Two Africa Cup of Nations Titles (2000, 2002)
Being one of the youngest players in the Indomitable Lions squad to the 2000 Africa Cup of Nation, Samuel Eto’o never allowed the occasion to overwhelm him as he netted four goals to end as joint second top scorer with teammate Patrick M’boma in 2000.
His goals helped Cameroon lift the AFCON title as the team defeated Nigeria in the final via penalty shootouts.
Two years later, Eto’O also recreated the same form as he scored three goals alongside M’Boma to help the team win the AFCON title for the second time in a row.
Four Time African Player Of The Year (2003, 2004, 2005, 2010)
The Barcelona Legend is one of the two players to have won the biggest individual honour in African football four times- The other being Yaya Toure. He won his first three awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005, before adding his fourth five years later.
Olympic Gold Medal for Cameoon (2000)
After Nigeria’s Under 23 team popularly known as the Dream Team won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal in the men’s football in 96, Cameroon also took a turn as they retained the gold medal for Africa thanks to Eto’o’s goals and assists at the tournament.
Eto’o who was just fresh from winning the AFCON title that same year, displayed great sense of talent in all the matches he played.
Treble Winning Season With Barcelona (2008-09)
Eto’o played a key role that ensured Barcelona claim the Spanish League, Copa Del Rey, and UEFA Champions League. His goal scoring exploit was on the high as he caused many defenders in the league sleepless night.
In La Liga, his 30 goals and four assists brought the title to the Catalan giants, while another four strikes and two assists in the Champions League landed Europe’s elite club competition for the Spanish side.
Another Treble winning campaign for Inter Milan (2009/10)
A year after Samuel Eto’o left Barcelona to join Italia Serie A side, Inter Milan under former manager, Jose Mourinho, and he was also instrumental in helping the team win a treble.
The Cameroonian scored 12 goals and created five in the Italian top flight, with one goal coming in Coppa Italia action, while a further two strikes and two assists in the Champions League led to a record-breaking season for the Milanese giants.