Controversial Footballers #3 Samuel Eto’oBy: Rob | July 22nd, 2008
The main inspiration for his inclusion is that while many footballers, who on the face of it would seem unavaliable are being stalked for months (Kaka’, Ronaldo, Lampard, Even Gareth Barry) Eto’o, who is being kicked out the door at Barca doesn’t appear to be wanted by anyone. Except for in Uzbekistan
A free scoring centre forward, Eto’o is widely considered the best African footballer of his generation. All time top scorer in the African Cup of Nations, Three time winner of African Footballer of The Year, first African footballer to make the final three of the World Footballer of the Year. At Barca, he’s won a number of honours too – including the Pichichi (La Liga top scorer) two La Liga’s and a Champions League trophy. He won the Copa Del Ray with Mallorca.
His goalscoring record is also mightily impressive. According to Wiki he has 168 goals in 334 appearences throughout his carrer. As any striker will tell you, one in two is the target at the top level, and Eto’o has better than that. More impressive is perhaps he record in Catalonia – 77 goals in 108 appearences for Barcelona.
So, with Barca trying to build a new team, why does nobody want to take a chance on him? At 27, he should be at his peak.
It could have something, of course, to do with his attitude off the pitch. He has the tendancy to say, and do incredibly stupid things. His mood swings back and forth, going from gracious to selfish. He seems to want to leave every 20 minutes, and then change his mind every 10.
He allegedly headbutted a journalist while on international duty. He famously divided the Barca dressing room with his fued with then-teamate Ronaldinho. There have supposedly been occasions where he didn’t want to come off the bench to play. His famous outburst after Barca won the title from Madrid caused a massive fine. He supposedly threatend to kill his agent, and in a seperate incident a Mallorca journo.
This mean streak is tempered a little, not only by his ability, but by the fact that he can on occasion be quite nice. When at Mallorca he bought fans travelling to the Copa Del Ray final a meal, to the tune of 30,000 Euros. After becoming top scorer in La Liga he dedicated the award to his teammates.
So Eto’o. He’s a pain, but he’s also a damn good striker. He needs a manager who can get the best out of him, and settle him off the pitch. Fergie once did with Cantona, if he can’t get Berbatov, then maybe he might want to rise to the challenge with Eto’o.
I leave you with a moment of individual brilliance – and I ask you, is Eto’o worth the off the field stuff, for his on the field ability?