Samuel Eto'o, Cameroonian, Soccer Playerby Viv 07/01/2013 14:45:00 0 comments 3275 Views
With lightning pace and a deadly eye for goal, Samuel Eto'o has established himself as one of the world's best strikers and is the highest paid player in the world after joining Russian side Anzhi on a three-year contract worth $28.8 million per season.
The Cameroon striker had a slow start to his career, struggling to make the grade as a youngster at Real Madrid, but after moving to Real Mallorca in 2000 he began to shine. He became the club's all-time leading domestic scorer in four years and earned himself a big money move to Barcelona.
It was at the Nou Camp that Eto'o elevated himself into the upper echelons of the world's best players, scoring for fun for the Catalans - with 125 strikes to his name in just 183 games. His impact was immediate as his goals helped Barca win the La Liga title in 2005 and then the Champions League in 2006. Injuries hampered his development, but Eto'o was imperious in the Catalans' treble winning 2008-09 season, netting 34 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions.
But with a plethora of talent around him, coach Pep Guardiola decided Eto'o was surplus to requirements and traded him in for Zlatan Ibrahimovich in a move that saw the Cameroon forward move to the San Siro, where he continued to display his scoring exploits in Serie A. Wanting a new challenge, he earned himself a lucrative move to cash-rich Anzhi, where he became the highest paid player in football.
At international level, Eto'o has excelled and is Cameroon's all-time leading scorer with 42 goals in 87 games. He got his first taste of World Cup football in 1998, making a single appearance as a substitute in Cameroon's 3-0 group stage defeat to Italy. But he quickly became an integral part of the Indomitable Lions team, scoring the winner in Cameroon's sole victory at the 2006 finals, against Saudi Arabia and winning the African Nations Cup in 2000 and 2002, as well as winning golden boot for being top scorer at both the 2006 and 2008 tournaments.
Strengths: Pace and finishing, Eto'o is an expert at getting on the shoulder of the last defender, accelerating away and showing great composure to score in one-on-one situations.
Weaknesses: Not the most technically gifted player, and has often been accused of getting easily frustrated and having a poor temperament. He was accused of being selfish by then Barca team-mate Ronaldinho.
Career High: Scoring in two Champions League finals for Barcelona. He netted the equaliser against Arsenal in the Catalans' 2006 win and the opener against Manchester United in the 2009 triumph.
Career Low: Being fined €12,000 for chanting "Madrid, cabron, saluda al campeon" (Spanish for 'Madrid, bastards, hail the champions') during a speech at the Nou Camp celebrating Barcelona's 2005 la Liga triumph.
Style: Prolific, pacey, strong and has world class finishing ability.
Quotes: "History shows that this club has had very few strikers like him. I do not know if there has ever been anyone like him before. What I do know is that Barcelona should erect a statue for him. Samuel was a fundamental player here in recent years and was key to all of the titles that the team won." Andres Iniesta, August 2009.
Trivia: To celebrate qualification for the 2010 finals, Eto'o bought each member of the Cameroon squad a £29,000 watch, with a dedication from him inscribed on the back.