Samuel Eto’o insists “it’s just a fact” he is Africa’s greatest player in history, with the ex-Barcelona and Inter Milan star now targetting a career in management.
Widely regarded as one of Africa’s finest, Eto’o’s incredible playing career saw him rise from an academy player in Douala, Cameroon, to winning three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and Inter.
He also became Cameroon’s all-time top-scorer by bringing home 56 goals in 118 appearances on route to two African Cup of Nations titles and a gold medal in the 2000 Olympic Games.
Plus, Eto’o won the Africa Player of the Year accolade a record-equalling four times alongside the Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure.
Although the Ballon d’Or sadly him eluded in an era dominated by former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Therefore, George Weah of Liberia remains the only African recipient of the award.
However, Eto’o still doesn’t doubt for even a second of his place as Africa’s greatest.
“I don’t need to lay claim to anything, it’s just a fact. Whether you accept it or not, it’s a fact,” he told AFP.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You know, as an African, you are always being judged. What is unacceptable is that the first people to do it are always the Africans. They can’t take anything away from me because I am proud to be African.
“When I look at where I came from and how far I got, I tell myself that I am entitled to be proud. That doesn’t mean I am big-headed, far from it. It is just that, in this world, people like puppets and I don’t accept being one.”
After announcing his retirement in September, Eto’o has now opened up on his plans to become a manager next.
The former striker added: “There comes a point where you have to look for other challenges.
“That is what I have chosen to do. I have had a wonderful career.”
“I know my next challenge will be to win at least as much as a coach as I did as a player. I would like to coach in Europe, and then one day return to Africa and win there. I don’t know how to lose.
“I am lucky to have made history at different clubs. I have a lot more doors open to me than others, but you need to be prepared.
“I want to learn [and] have all the qualifications, understand how things work either in my own businesses or in my future career, in order to come back in 12 or 24 months and start a new career, which I hope will be just as beautiful.”