Samuel Eto'o displays the AFCON trophy before the 2019 AFCON final

By Anye Nde Nsoh
Football Writer Cameroon.

Retired Cameroon international forward Samuel Eto’o has narrated his secret football career  while devicing a means to convince his parents.

The former Inter Milan striker while growing in his home town Douala was denied from playing football by his parents. As such he played behind his parents while looking for means to make his parents accept his dream of becoming a professional player.

Speaking to, Eto’o narrated how the COVID-19 period has made him reflect on his past.

“I lived and breathed football – but my parents were very hard on me. They did not accept the fact that I played football because to them football was something children played if they didn’t go to school.

“I was obviously going to school and I was not a bad student, but I had a passion, which was football,

“I vividly remember one day I played a game in my city and I had to hide in order to go play. What I didn’t know is that my dad was with some friends in the bar in front of the field.

“Everything I did that day in that game gave me my ‘pass’ to play football freely. Because my parents did not know [until that moment] that I seemed to have a natural talent for the game.

“I was the hero of my neighbourhood after that game. That day, when I returned home, my father arrived a little later and said: ‘You are so good, I saw your match today. I’m going to talk to your mother so you can keep playing.’

“That is how he gave me a ‘pass’ to keep playing. I was about 12 or 13 years old.

“From that moment on there was no stopping. I had the blessings of my father and you could not keep me off that football pitch. Day or night. From there, it was one or two years before I went to Europe, and my life changed forever.”

The four times African player of the year didn’t have the best of experience at Real Madrid but successful stints at Leganes and Real Mallorca eventually earned him a move to Barcelona.

He went on to have a very successful career winning over 20 trophies for club and country.

Eto’o played for a number of clubs in Spain, Italy,Russia, England and Qatar where he retired last year.

He started his professional football career aged 12 at Kadji Sports Academy in Douala and went on to be one to world’s greatest footballer.

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