Player Profile – Samuel Eto’oJune 7, 2007
Full name: Samuel Eto’o
Birthplace: Nkon, Cameroon
Date of Birth: 10th March 1981
Previous Teams: Real Madrid, Spain; Leganes, Spain; RCD Espanyol, Spain; RCD Mallorca, Spain;
National Squad/Number of Appearances: Cameroon/60+
Eto’o burst on to the European football scene at the age of 16 when he was signed to Real Madrid. He moved to Barcelona in 2004 and made an immediate impact by scoring 25 goals in his first season. He is a potential goal-scoring machine every time he sets foot on a pitch but is also well respected for his commitment to the team as a whole. Facts:
- Eto’o was the youngest player at the 1998 World Cup aged just 17 years and 3 months. He was also the only player at the tournament born in the 1980s.
- Eto’o had a complex relationship with Real Madrid. He signed for the club at 15 but they forgot to collect him at the airport when he arrived and he had to wait for hours without being able to speak any Spanish. He never really broke into the Madrid team and spent two periods on loan to other clubs before moving to Mallorca in a split ownership deal.
- His relationship with Mallorca was far better – he paid 30,000 Euros to treat Mallorca supporters to a meal at Mallorca’s Spanish Cup final against Recreativo Huelva.
- He became the highest league goal scorer ever at Mallorca with a total of 54 goals.
- When he signed for Barcelona Eto’o became the first Cameroonian player at the club.
- Eto’o’s goal against Levante won Barcelona the league title in the 2004-5 season.
- Eto’o was named African Player of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006 – a record three consecutive times.
- He has won two Spanish Supercups (2005-6/2006-7), two League Titles (2004-5/2005-6) and the Champions League (2005-6) with Barcelona. In addition, he won the Champions League (1999-00) and the Intercontinental Cup (1997-98) with Real Madrid and the Spanish Cup with Mallorca (2002-3).
- During his time playing for Cameroon the national squad has won the African Cup twice (2000, 2002) and he also won a Gold Medal at the Sydney Olympics.
- In 2006 Eto’o opened a football academy in Cameroon to help promising footballers in his country.
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