Cameroonian footballer and ex-Chelsea striker, Samuel Eto’o, has officially announced his retirement from football after 22-years.
Eto’o was regarded by pundits as one of the best strikers in the world and he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time,[ winning the African Player of the Year a record four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010.
The 38-year old announced his retirement in a short message on his Instagram page; “The End. Towards a new challenge. Thank you all, big love.”
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As a member of the Cameroon national team, Eto’o was a part of the squad that won the Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympics. He also won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. Eto’o has participated in four World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations. He is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, with 18 goals, and is Cameroon’s all-time leading scorer and third most capped player, with 56 goals in 118 caps.
A precocious talent, Eto’o moved to Real Madrid as a 16-year-old. Due to competition in his position with more experienced players, he had several loan spells, before signing for Mallorca in 2000 where he scored 70 goals.
His impressive form saw him join Barcelona in 2004 where he scored over 100 goals in five seasons and also became the record holder for the most number of appearances by an African player in La Liga.
The Cameroonian footballer is the second player in history to score in two UEFA Champions League finals. At Barcelona, Eto’o came in third for the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2005 and was twice named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI, in 2005 and 2006.