Samuel Eto’o has said he bears no regrets about failing to win the Balon D’Or. The former Cameroon International is pleased with his accomplishments for country and at club level despite never being recognized as the world’s best player.
He says he isn’t bothered about not winning the Balon D’Or during his playing days.
The former Barcelona star is the only African to have come closest to winning the award since George Weah did in 1995.
The Cameroonian finished third in 2005 with his Barcelona teammate, Ronaldinho clinching the award and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard finishing in second.
“I won so many trophies, I made so many dreams and for me that is the equivalent of winning the Ballon d’Or,” Samuel Eto’o told AFP.
“However, I do feel for my younger brothers who came along after my generation.”
He must have been referring to the likes of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane when he talked about his younger brothers.
There are five Africans included in the list of 2019 Balon D’Or nominees. They include Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
“Africa needs to show how strong it is. We are lucky to have these good players, who scored more than ten goals in the Champions League — we had the top three scorers in the English league (Mane, Salah, Aubameyang) but somehow these young guys don’t have our support,” Eto’o added.
“I want to accompany them as much as I can, defend them, protect them, because one day it will be their turn to pass on the torch.
“That is what we Africans have not always understood, at all levels, and that is why we are still trailing behind.”
Notwithstanding, Eto’o suggested he would be excited if Messi claims the award for the sixth time.
“He is the best player of all time. I was lucky enough to see him come through and to have had a good relationship with him,” the Cameroonian continued.
“When I give my opinion on Leo even he tells me I am not objective.
“Everything Messi does…he is a footballing god. I’d be happy for him to win it again.”