In spite of having played at several icon stadiums around the world and with several laurels to show for his illustrious football career, Cameroon soccer legend, Samuel Eto’O Fils has revealed that his best moment as a footballer was at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.
The former Barcelona of Spain striker revealed this at the Legend Hotel, Ikeja on Wednesday night, where he launched the Castle Africa 5s-a continental amateur competition.
“I cannot forget Nigeria, that is where I won my first Africa Cup of Nations and it was a special moment in my football career. Nigeria is a special country to me and it’s time for me to give back,” Eto’O said.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon won the 2000 AFCON jointly hosted by Nigeria and Ghana after defeating the Super Eagles via penalty shootouts in the final held at the National Stadium, Surulere.
Despite winning two Champions League titles with Barcelona and one with Inter Milan, Eto’O surprisingly insisted that it was at Real Mallorca that he had his fondest memory of club level football.
“Playing in the finals of the Copa Del Rey with Mallorca was monumental for me at club level because we were a small club and nobody gave us a chance to go all the way.
“I also enjoyed great moments at Barcelona but all we won did not come as a surprise to anybody because they knew what we were capable of doing because of the quality of players in our fold,” he recalled with fond memory.
Despite his sour relationship with Spanish Manager, Pep Guardiola, the four- time African Footballer of the Year Award winner said the Catalan Coach developed his football technically more than anyone else.
“As a person I have my reservation about him, but you cannot fault his technical ability as a coach,” he said.
Eto’O also charged African football administrators to wake up from their slumber, saying countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon will be at the same level with Brazil if ‘we can get our acts together’.
The Cameroonian indeed hailed the appointment of former Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, as an assistant coach of the senior national team, saying he hope he would go far in his coaching career.
Eto’O, who arrived in Lagos on Wednesday night and was received by the Trophy Lager team in company with International Breweries management and members of the sports media.
Castle Africa 5s is the continent’s biggest amateur 5-a-side football competition involving grassroots teams from several African countries in which the world’s largest brewer, ABInBev operates.