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Forgotten football stars: Samuel Eto’o

UEFA Champions League Final: Arsenal v Barcelona
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Welcome to the new series on Ronaldo.com, Forgotten football stars, where we will talk about former big stars in football, who are still playing as professionals. We’re starting with Samuel Eto’o.

Did you know that FC Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o is still a professional football player? The 38-year old striker spent the 2018-19 season at Qatar SC and has already hinted that he would like to continue for at least another year.

Eto’o started out at Real Madrid, but made his debut as a loaned player at Leganes back in 1997. The young striker scored only four goals during the 1997-98 campaign and returned to Madrid, before being loaned again, now to Espanyol.

After making a total of eight appearances (one for Espanyol and sever for Real Madrid) between July 1998 and January 2000, Eto’o joined Mallorca on loan where he finally managed to find his is form.

The Cameroonian netted six goals in 13 games for Los Bermellones, which was enough for them to sign him permanently in the summer of 2000.

Eto’o made a name for himself at Mallorca, spending four year with the club. He guided Los Bermellones to a 2003 Copa del Rey triumph and left the club in 2004 as the all time top goalscorer with 70 goals by his name.

Barcelona signed the 23-year old striker at the time for a transfer fee of €24 million. He spent the greatest time of his career at Camp Nou, winning three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies in five years.

Back in his best days, Samuel Eto’o was a fast, strong, and energetic striker, who was one of the coolest men in front of goal. Prolific goalscorer as he was, Eto’o possessed an accurate finishing ability and was great in the air. He was also known for his work rate and versatility, as he could play anywhere in attack.

The Cameroonian netted 130 times for the Blaugrana and won the Pichichi trophy in the 2005-06 season, with 26 goals. He scored in both Champions League finals he played with Barcelona, against Arsenal in 2006 and against Manchester United three years later.

However, after disagreements with coach Pep Guardiola, Eto’o moved to Inter in a swap deal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He was excellent in his first season with the Nerazzurri, winning the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble andb becoming the first player in history to win consecutive trebles.

Eto’o didn’t score on his third European final, but two goals from Diego Milito were enough for Jose Mourinho’s side to secure a 2-0 triumph over Bayern Munich.

The striker spent three years in Italian football before moving to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. He scored 36 goals over two season in Russia, enough to convince his former coach Jose Mourinho to sign him at Chelsea in August 2013..

Eto’o reached the Champions League semi-finals in his only season at Stamford Bridge and played six months for each Everton and Sampdoria in 2014-15. The veteran forward joined Turkish side Antalyaspor, where he proved that he’s still got his magical touch, scoring 44 goals in 77 appearances.

At an international level, Samuel Eto’o made his debut for Cameroon back in 1997 and played a total of 118 games for the Indomitable Lions.

He won the 2000 Summer Olympic’s football tournament for his country, as well as two back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations trophies, in 2000 and 2002.

Eto’o finished his international career in 2014, as the all time top scorer of both, the Cameroon national team and the Africa Cup of Nations.