Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o has responded to Senegal’s El Hadji Diouf’s outrageous claim that he is the best African player of all time.
Former Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers player Diouf recently said he believed he was the best-ever African player, placing himself ahead of legends like Eto’o and Ivory Coast and Chelsea star Didier Drogba.
“Even if my brother Diouf, the last time, with extra glass, got a little lost, there is no debate,” Eto’o was quoted as saying by the Union Journal.
“None of them (Diouf and Drogba) can come and say that they were at my level or better. And it’s not the fact that I say it, it’s a fact, it’s something that is there.
“I wanted to be number one and I have been throughout my career.”
Regarded as one of the best strikers in the world during his peak, the now-retired 39-year-old Eto’o played 118 times (a national record) from 1997 to 2014 for Cameroon netting 56 goals. His goal-tally makes him Cameroon’s top goalscorer of all time, some way ahead of the legendary Roger Milla with 43 goals.
No fewer than 18 of those goals came in the African flagship competition (Africa Cup of Nations) as Eto’o set himself as the all-time record goalscorer, overtaking Ivory Coast’s Laurent Pokou (14 goals).
Eto’o was among the Cameroon team that won back-to-back Afcon titles in 2000 and 2002. He also took part in four more editions (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010), scoring at least a goal in each of them, which is also a record (scoring in six different Afcon editions) that he shares with Zambia’s Kalusha Bwalya and Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan.
Eto’o played for giants Real Madrid and Barcelona (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy) and Chelsea (England) among others.
Recognised for his immense talent, Eto’o played his first match for Cameroon on March 9, 1997 – a day before he turned 16. He was also the youngest player at the 1998 World Cup in France. In 2002, he scored his first goal at a World Cup in a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the tournament hosted by South Korea and Japan.
In total, Eto’o played for 13 different clubs in his career.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo