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Rediff.com  » Sports » Happy Birthday, 'Old man' Eto'o!

Happy Birthday, 'Old man' Eto'o!

Last updated on: March 10, 2014 15:16 IST

Happy Birthday, 'Old man' Eto'o!

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Rediff Sports Desk

As Chelsea's Samuel Eto’o turns a year older today, Rediff.com celebrates this African gem and milestone man…

Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o’s turns a year older today, 33 to be precise.

The Cameroonian’s ‘old-man’ goal celebration against Tottenham Hotspur during their English Premier League match on Saturday could be a reminder of his big day or a taunt to manager Jose Mourinho. We will never know the intention behind it.

But what we do know is that the four-time African Player of the Year is as classy as they come.

With records galore against his name, he is one of the most recognized footballers to come out of Europe.

Eto’o is one of the few African players to hold a Spanish passport and talking of Spain, he is the highest scorer for La Liga champions Barcelona FC, where he played a good five seasons.

However, having trained at Real Madrid’s youth academy, his transfer to Barcelona did not go down well with Madrid fans.

When the Catalan club won the league in 2004-05, the club had organized a party. But Eto’o was harangued by Madrid fans who shouted negative slogans against him.


Image: Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea does an 'Old Man' celebration after scoring his team's first goal on Saturday
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Rediff Sports Desk

He also faced racism and was involved in dressing room dramas during his time with Chelsea, but all these didn’t deter him from being his best.

Eto’o scored over 100 goals for Barcelona and his scoring prowess in those five seasons saw him take home the African Footballer of Year as well as the World Footballer of the Year in 2005.

He also holds the unique record of winning the Champions League with two clubs in back-to-back seasons – with Barcelona in 2009 and with Inter Milan in 2010.

Continuing his outstanding form in Serie A and in the Champions League for the 2010–11 season, he was pivotal to Inter's forward line.

That season Eto’o helped Inter eliminate Bayern Munich 3-2 (with an aggregate score of 3–3, winning on away goals) in the Champions League.

The Cameroonian scored the first goal after four minutes, and provided two clinical assists to Wesley Sneijder and to Goran Pandev for the winner.


Image: Samuel Eto'o
Photographs: Reuters

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During the summer transfer window in 2011, Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala reached an agreement with Inter Milan to sign Eto'o in a three-year deal that made him the world's highest paid player, with a salary of €20 million per season.

Again, Eto’o’s talents came to the fore and he helped his club to the top of the Russian Premier League in the 2012-13 season.

But with the club owners deciding to downsize, Eto’o and other players were put on the transfer market.

He was then brought by Chelsea in August and has been prolific despite the limited chances Mourinho has given him. He was instrumental in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Manchester United in January.

As a Cameroon national, Eto’o has led them to Olympic Gold in 2000 and was the youngest to represent the nation in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

Here’s to many more record and birthdays to this African gem! 


Image: Samuel Eto'o in Cameroon colours
Photographs: Reuters

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