Four times winner of the African Player of the Year award, Samuel Eto’o is considered to be amongst the best African footballers of all time and also the best strikers in the world. In this article, we take a look at his biography.
Samuel Eto'o, born in Douala, Cameroon on 10 March 1981 is a former Cameroonian footballer, who played as a striker for different clubs and the Cameroon national team. Considered to be one of the finest footballers of his generation, and by some sources the best African footballer ever, during his career he has won many titles and awards both with his club teams and the Cameroon national team.
With the Cameroon national team, he has participated in four World Cups (1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014) and six African Cups (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010), winning the 2000 and 2002 ones. With 56 goals in 118 appearances, he is his national team's all-time leading scorer. In 2000, he won the gold medal with the Cameroon Olympic team.
On an individual level, he has been named African Footballer of the Year four times (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010) and ranked third in the FIFA World Player of the Year (2005); in 2015, he received the Golden Foot award.
On 17 December 2010 he became the only player in the world to score in seven different official tournaments in one year (2010African Cup of Nations
, 2009-10Serie A
, 2009-10Italian Cup
, 2009-10UEFA Champions League
, 2010World Cup
, 2010 Italian Super Cup and 2010Club World Cup
), thus surpassing Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma, who had managed to do so in six different official tournaments, but unlike Pedro's record, in which the six competitions were at club level,Samuel Eto'o
scored in five different tournaments with his club and in two different tournaments with his national team.
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He is currently the 15th top scorer in the Spanish La Liga, is the all-time leading scorer of the Cameroon national team and also the 8th top scorer in the history of FC Barcelona.
Samuel Eto’o Information
Now that we know Samuel Eto’o much better, in this section of
Samuel Eto’o biography
we want to share some general information about him such as
Samuel Eto’o nationality
. So stay tuned to read more about him and
Samuel Eto’o life story
Samuel Eto’o Bio
Full Name: Samuel Eto'o Fils
Nickname: Little Milla
Profession: Professional Footballer
Samuel Eto’o Physical Stats
Weight: 75 Kg
Height: 1.8 m
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Hair Color: Black
Samuel Eto’o Football Information
Jersey Number: 9
Professional Debut: 1997
Samuel Eto’o Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 10 March 1981
Birth Place: Douala, Cameroon
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Stay tuned to read more of
Samuel Eto’o childhood
and his biography.
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A native of Nkon, a suburb of Yaoundé, Samuel Eto'o took his first steps in the Mvog-Ada district, one of the poorest in the Cameroonian capital. To offer a more comfortable life to his six children (three boys and as many girls), Eto'o father, an accountant, took his family to Douala. The family settled in Newbell, a sensitive district of the port city.
On the bumpy wastelands, Samuel, a fan of Roger Milla, was playing in the streets before joining the Cameroonian Union of Breweries of Douala. At thirteen and a half, the striker was imposing his style in the local second division. A handful of goals and he joined the Cameroonian Cadets.
When he was only fifteen, Samuel Eto'o moved to France to try his luck in a European football. Once he arrived in Marseille, he crossed the city of Carpentras before reaching the capital. He then only had a ten-day visa, which was not enough to settle in Paris, and he was unable to leave his flat regularly, so as not to risk being deported. Despite the difficulties of living in Paris and the difficulties linked to the climate, Eto'o stayed several months in Paris with his family and applied to join the Paris Saint-Germain training centre. The Parisian club refused to recruit him because he had no papers.
He returned to Cameroon and joined the Kadji Sport Academies football school based in Douala, the economic capital and the main port of entry to Cameroon, where the striker was one of the best local talents. The Le Havre club, in partnership with the academy and with priority on the players, invited him to a trial in Normandy. Eto'o remained there for almost a week but was not selected.
Pierre Foissac, the Le Havre recruiter who spotted him in Cameroon, recalls: "The coach who observed him did not find him good. There were five players that week. We kept four of them and let the gem go". Eto'o took part in other trials, at AS Saint-Étienne and AS Cannes but they were not conclusive. He was also involved in several other trials in the United States.
Outclassed in the national team, during his first outing with the Cameroonian juniors, Eto'o scored a double despite the defeat against Côte d'Ivoire (3-2). He was particularly noticed by Pirri, a Real Madrid scout, who offered him a trial. Ten days later, Eto'o arrived in Spain. Stay tuned to read more of
Samuel Eto’o biography
and his club career.
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In 1996, Eto'o moved to Real Madrid from the Kadji Sports Academy at the age of 15. He played for Real in the 1996/97 season with the second team in the second-tier Segunda Division. Following Real Madrid Castilla's relegation toSegunda Division B
, Eto'o was loaned toCD Leganes
for the 1997/98 season, where he again played in the Segunda Division.
Eto'o returned to Real Madrid for the 1998/99 season and made his La Liga debut on 5 December 1998 under head coach Guus Hiddink at the age of 17, when he came on as a second-half substitute for Davor Šuker in a 0-0 draw against Espanyol. After failing to make any further appearances, he moved to Espanyol on loan until the end of the season in January 1999. Under Miguel Brindisi, however, Eto'o only made one appearance in the Copa del Rey.
Eto'o, still only 18, returned to Real Madrid for the 1999/2000 season. Under new head coach John Toshack, who had taken over the team during his loan period at Espanyol, he made 2 league appearances, 3 Champions League appearances and one in the 2000 Club World Cup.
By 2000, Eto'o had already featured in three UEFA Champions League games. Despite this, he was not included in Real Madrid's main squad and was forced into a contract withMallorca
where he scored 6 goals in 19 games. The team's owners were impressed and bought half of Eto'o's rights, with the other half still held byReal Madrid
Eto'o featured in three matches in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, scoring the winning goal against Saudi Arabia. During his time at Mallorca, he proved to be one of the most prolific strikers in the La Liga, scoring a hat-trick against Recreativo (3-0) in the Spanish Cup final in 2003. In 2003/04, Mallorca made it to the 4th round of the UEFA Cup thanks to Eto'o's hat-trick against APOEL. The player scored 17 goals during that season.
After that, his total goalscoring record amounted to 54 goals in 133 games in the La Liga over a period of 4.5 years. After the season Eto'o was named the best African footballer. On August 12, 2004, the player was acquired by Barcelona for 24 million euros. Stay tuned to read more of Samuel Eto’o biography and his Barcelona.
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On 29 August 2004, Eto'o played his first game for the Catalan club. He scored his first goal for the club in the match against Racing in the 1st matchday of theLa Liga
2004/05, and the game ended with a 2-0 win. At the end of the season, Barcelona won the League and the Spanish Super Cup.
In the following season, Samuel was in great form and performed well. On November 2, 2005, Barcelona defeated Greek club Panathinaikos (5-0). In that match, Eto'o scored his first hat-trick for the club. He became the best striker of the UEFA Champions League, made the African Cup's dream team (he was also the best striker of the tournament), the FIFPro team and the FIFA team of the year. He was also voted 2005/06 UEFA Champions League Player of the Year.
That season, Barcelona repeated their success of 2004/05 in the Spanish La Liga and Supercup as well as winning the Champions League. The 2006/07 season was not very successful either for Samuel or for his club. The footballer got a lot of injuries, was sidelined for a long time and did not show himself on the field by any means outstanding. "Barcelona did not win a single competition.
At the beginning of 2007/08 season, Samuel picked up another injury and could only play in the second half of the season. With his help,Barcelona
narrowed their gap to Real Madrid in the league. However, that did not help the side to win the league title and Real Madrid became champions. In the Champions League, the Catalans reached the semi-finals, where they lost to Manchester United.
A new coach, Josep Guardiola, joined Barcelona in the summer of 2008. Eto'o could not find common ground with him and Guardiola decided it was time for the club to part ways with the player, as well as Ronaldinho and Deco. The latter two left the club in the same year, but Samuel played another season with the team. It was a successful season for the club, with Eto'o being an important figure alongside Messi and Henri. In the summer of 2009, after 5 years at Barcelona, Samuel Eto'o left the club.
Eto'o was given a five-year contract at Inter. His basic salary atInter Milan
was set at €10.5 million per year, making him the highest-paid player in the Italian league.
In his first competitive match for Milan, the 2009 Supercoppa Italiana match against Lazio, Eto'o scored his first goal for Inter in a 2-1 defeat. In his first league game, Eto'o scored from the penalty spot to draw 1-1 with AS Bari.
On 22 May 2010, he became the first and only player to win the Champions League to claim the treble (consisting of the league, national cup and European Cup), albeit in two different countries. In August of the same year, he won theSupercoppa Italiana
with his team, scoring a brace in a 3-1 win over AS Roma.
In the second group game of the 2010/11 Champions League season, Eto'o scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Werder Bremen. Eto'o attracted negative attention when he headbutted Chievo Verona defender Boštjan Cesar in a league match. For this, he was punished with a three-match ban and a fine of €30,000.
In December 2010, Eto'o and his team won the FIFA Club World Cup, scoring the goal in a 3-0 final win over TP Mazembe. At the subsequent award ceremony, he was named best player of the tournament. On 29 May 2011, Inter successfully defended the Italian Cup they had won the previous year, beating US Palermo 3-1 in the final. Eto'o scored the first two goals for the Nerazzurri.
In his second season with Inter, Eto'o scored a total of 37 goals in 53 competitive matches and set up a further 17 goals, which was a personal best for him. He is also Inter's all-time top scorer in a single season after Antonio Angelillo, who scored a total of 38 times in the 1958/59 season.
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In July 2011,Anzhi Makhachkala
offered Eto'o a salary of 22 million euros per season. Eto'o refused as he wanted to win the Champions League and Anzhi did not sign him. However, a month later it was reported that the player could end up at the Russian club, which offered €29 million for the transfer and a contract worth €28.8 million per year. On 23 August, it was announced that the Cameroonian had agreed to Anzhi's terms. The next day, he signed a 3-year contract with the Makhachkala club.
He made his debut in the Russian league in a match against Rostov. Samuel came on as a substitute in the 58th minute of the match and scored after 22 minutes with an assist from Yuri Zhirkov.
At Anzhi, Eto'o made five double: on 26 July 2012 in an away (return) match against Hungarian club Honved, on 10 August 2012 in a third-roundEuropa League
return match against Vitesse, on 26 August 2012 in the 6th round of the Russian Premier League against Mordovia, and on 16 September 2012 in the 8th round of theRussian Premier League
against Krasnodar, and on 4 October 2012 in a Europa League match against Switzerland's Young Boys.
In June 2013, Samuel Eto'o was awarded the official prize by Championship.com and RFPL as the best player of SOGAZ - Russian Championship. The Cameroonian's profile was the most visited player profile on the RFPL website from 2011 to 2013.
On 29 August 2013, Eto'o moved toChelsea FC
in theEnglish Premier League
. After 21 appearances (9 goals and 5 assists), Eto'o was released by Chelsea FC on 1 July 2014. On 26 August 2014, Eto'o joined Everton FC. He was given a two-year contract until 30 June 2016.
After six months atEverton FC
, Eto'o moved to Italy to join Sampdoria Genoa. In the summer of 2015, he moved to theTurkish Süper Lig
to join newly-promotedAntalyaspor
. There he scored 20 goals and made 6 assists in 31 league games in his first season. He was one of the top scorers in the Süper Lig in the 2015/16 season. On 31 January 2018, Eto'o moved to league rivalsKonyaspor
and signed a two-and-a-half-year contract.
After Samuel Eto'o terminated his contract at Konyaspor in the summer of 2018, he moved to Qatar to joinQatar SC
At the beginning of September 2019, the Cameroonian, who was only active at club level, finally ended his playing career after having played over 700 competitive matches and scoring 359 goals.
He has played for theCameroon national football team
118 times and has scored 56 goals, making him the all-time top scorer. He made his debut on 9 March 1997 in the match between Costa Rica and Cameroon, which was won 5-0 by Costa Rica at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in San José, Costa Rica.
In 2000, Eto'o won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics, beating Spain in the final in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw. In that Cameroon team, players like Lauren, Geremi, Wome and Carlos Kameni played, who was decisive in the penalties at the age of 16.
Eto'o has won the African Cup of Nations twice and was runner-up at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. He is the top scorer in the history of the African Cup of Nations with 16 goals. In the 2006 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon was eliminated in a penalty shoot-out against their classic rivals, Côte d'Ivoire. In the 23rd of what was the longest shoot-out in the history of this competition, Eto'o missed his second shot after both teams had scored all their penalties.
On August 27, 2014, Eto’o announced his retirement from the international football, and his 56 goals still are the highest record in the history of the Cameroon national team. Stay tuned to read more of Samuel Eto’o biography and his playing style.
A very quick striker, he mainly played as a centre forward, but at Inter, under José Mourinho, he was also adapted as an outside player in a 4-2-3-1, a role in which he showed a good tendency for defensive rebounding. Gifted with excellent dribbling, he was skilled both in scoring and in providing assists to his teammates.
Paolo Maldini listed him among the three most dangerous strikers he faced in his career, placing him behind Diego Armando Maradona and Ronaldo.
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Samuel Eto’o was considered by many football fans and experts to be amongst the best strikers in the history of football. Many include him in the top three African strikers of all time alongside Didier Drogba and Geroge Weah.
Being a striker, Samuel Eto’o has scored many goals during his career and he had many famous goal celebrations. But one of them that we cannot really forget, is his “Old Man” goal celebration. This goal celebration was a reaction to remarks from José Mourinho about Samuel Eto'o being too old, where he leaned down and bent his knees, moving steadily using an imaginary stick. The goal celebration was featured in the FIFA 18 video game.
Eto’o is known to be a mobile phone enthusiast, owning as many as 400 mobile phones (14 of which are in operation in different countries with different phone numbers). In December 2011, he created his own mobile phone network called Set Mobile; an ambitious project that targets the entire African continent, starting with his native Cameroon.
In October 2018, Samuel Eto'o gave his support to the candidacy of Cameroonian President Paul Biya. In office for 36 years, Paul Biya was running for a seventh consecutive term. This unexpected support from Samuel created public turmoil about him.
In this section of
Samuel Eto’o biography
, we will take a look at his personal life, and things like
Samuel Eto’o religion
Samuel Eto'o has two brothers named David and Stephen who are also footballers. His nephew Rama Burundi (David's son) also has a football career and at the age of 16, he joined the Lyon academy.
Married since 6 July 2007 to Georgette, he is the father of four children named: Maelle, Étienne, Siena and Lynn. He is also the father of a daughter, Annie, born in 2002 from a previous relationship with Anna Barranca. Eto'o has repeatedly come into conflict with Anna Barranca who accuses him of having "ruined her daughter's life ".
In 2012, Samuel Eto'o divorcees her wife and stated in the press: "There are ups and downs in a couple's life, that's how life goes and I take it with an open mind". Stay tuned to read more of Samuel Eto’o biography and his charitable works.
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The Samuel Eto'o Foundation was created in March 2006, it is established as a non-profit organisation whose activities are mainly concentrated in West Africa. This foundation intends to use this factor with responsibility and commitment and in this way raise awareness in society about the needs of a continent such as Africa.
Its objective is to protect children and youth, providing emergency aid and promoting education, health and social integration for the most disadvantaged, to help them build opportunities for the future.
Samuel Eto’o is also a UNICEF ambassador.
In early 2016, Samuel Eto'o, with the help of his lawyers who brought an action for summary proceedings, had a book (Revenge porn) which revealed the details of the footballer's relationship with Nathalie Koah, a former mistress, banned from publication in France on the grounds of invasion of privacy.
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In this section of Samuel Eto’o biography, we want to take a look at his playing statistics both on the club and international level.
During a 22 years professional career between 1997 and 2019, Samuel Eto’o has played a total of 764 matches in all competitions for 13 clubs, scoring 371 goals. However, he will be best remembered for his spell at Barcelona, where he managed to score 130 goals in 190 matches.
At the international level, Samuel Eto’o has represented his country Cameroon on 118 occasions, scoring 56 goals. He is the top goalscorer for his country. He has played for the national team between 1997 and 2014, with 2008 being his best year where he managed to score 11 goals in 11 matches for Cameroon.
Eto’o is one of the most decorated African footballers of all time. He has won many awards and titles during his career, which most notable of them include La Liga,Copa Del Rey
,Supercopa de España
, UEFA Champions League, Serie A, Coppa Italia, FIFA Club World Cup, African Cup of Nations and Olympic Gold Medal.
He has also won many individual honors including Young African Player of the Year, African Player of the Year, FIFA World Player of the Year Bronze Award, FIFA FIFPro World XI, UEFA Team of the Year, UEFA Club Forward of the Year and many others.