YAOUNDE, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) — Roger Milla and Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon football legends, began inspecting football infrastructure in the country on Sunday ahead of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
The delegation visited Japoma Stadium in the commercial hub of Douala, which will host matches when the central African nation hosts the competition next year.
Secretary General of the Presidency and delegation leader Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh said the inspection visit was intended to showcase Cameroon’s readiness to stage the championship.
“We are proud of the infrastructure in our country – everything is modern and well done. Cameroon’s football infrastructure is quite ready to host AFCON,” said Eto’o, a four-time African Player of the Year, during a tour of the stadium.
The biennial football championship will run from January 9 to February 6 with the participation of 24 teams.
Former Indomitable Lions captain Samuel Eto’o will stand for the presidency of the Cameroonian Football Federation in an election due in December.
The former Barcelona and Chelsea star declared his interest in taking up the leadership of Fecafoot when the polls are conducted in three months’ time.
“Time is running out. Waiting is not an option. It is time to rebuild our football,” Eto’o wrote on his social media pages.
The election, that has been postponed several times, is expected to take place on December 11, barely a month before Cameroon hosts the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in January
The Afcon tournament will kick off on January 9, 2022.
But Eto’o will have to wait for Fecafoot to announce the final list of eligible candidates who will have to fully comply with the electoral code.
The electoral code bars anyone who holds more than one passport from standing in the elections and it remains to be seen how Eto’o who also holds a Spanish nationality will wade through the murky politics.
Eto’o was handed the Spanish passport during his time at Barcelona.
He will battle two other ex-Cameroon internationals – Jules Denis Onana and Emmanuel Maboang Kessack – in the race that has also attracted interim president Seidou Mbombo Njoya along with football agent Ivo Chi.
Eto’o, 40, won the African Player of the Year award four times and is also Cameroon’s record scorer with 56 goals in 118 games.
The former Inter Milan player is a journeyman who also had a short stint with English Premier League side Everton before calling off time from his illustrious career in Qatar.
He won an Olympic gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and was also part of the Indomitable Lions at the 2000 and 2002 Afcon finals.
Candidates have until October 11 to declare their intention to run.
Eto’o joins the list of former top African players to have jumped into elective politics after retirement
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is also running for the Ivory Coast FA’s top office in the much-delayed elections while George Weah is the current president of Liberia.
YAOUNDE, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — Cameroonian football legends expressed full confidence that the national football team will perform well after the draw of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) was conducted here on Tuesday evening.
“The groups are equal especially for our national team Cameroon. The group is acceptable,” said Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon’s four-time winner of African player of the year said after Cameroon is paired in Group A with Ethiopia, Cape Verde and Burkina Faso.
“Even though we have an excellent squad and head coach, I hope my young teammates will manage the pressure from 25 to 26 million Cameroonians who will be following the games so that we can emerge victorious,” Eto’o Fils added.
Cameroon will be seeking a sixth title and must work hard to achieve that goal, said Roger Mila, former Cameroonian striker and Confederation of African Football Best African Player of the last 50 years.
“It’s true we are the hosts but to reach the utmost level, that is, the final and perhaps win the trophy, we need to be very powerful on the pitch and off the pitch. But I have confidence in our boys. We were not favorites in 2017 but we won,” Milla told Xinhua at the ceremonial venue in the capital, Yaounde.
“To win (the trophy) we need to prepare well. The young boys have a wonderful opportunity to play at home in front of home fans. We are fully behind them. It is certain that the indomitable lions will win, no doubt about that,” added Rigobert Song, former captain of the Indomitable Lions.
Cameroon and Burkina Faso will play the opening match at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde when the championship officially begins on January 6 next year.
The continent’s biggest biennial football competition has been moved twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and wet weather.
The tournament, which features 24 teams, will end on February 6.
African footballers have left an indelible mark on LaLiga and it’s no surprise that many of them have played for more than one Spanish club.
With the LaLiga season currently underway and players are making up for lost time due to the pandemic, we shine the spotlight on some of LaLiga’s most remarkable African players.
From humble beginnings to football legends, these players made such an impression on the league that they were recruited to play for more than one club.
Here are six of the best African players who have represented multiple clubs
Clubs: Real Madrid, RCD Mallorca, and FC Barcelona
Years active: 1997–2000, 2000–2004 and 2004–2009
Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o is rightfully considered among the greatest strikers in the history of world football and is often referred to as one of the greatest African players of all time.
He moved to Spain at the age of 16 and quickly took the football world by storm, going on to lead Cameroon to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002.
He was even honoured with an Olympic gold medal in 2000!
Clubs: Atlético de Madrid, FC Barcelona, and RCD Mallorca
Years active: 1958–1967, 1967–1969 and 1969–1970
Jorge Alberto Mendonça, who was born in the Angolan capital Luanda, made history by becoming the first African player to play for Barcelona.
He led an impressive career, appearing in more than 200 matches and helped Atlético de Madrid achieve five major titles, before retiring in 1970.
Clubs: Real Sociedad and Racing Santander
Years active: 1992-1996 and 1996-2000
Nigerian born Mutiu Adepoju spent most of his professional career in Spain, starting out by playing on Real Madrid’s B team in 1989 before breaking out onto the scene at Real Sociedad and Racing Santander.
He eventually moved to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad Club, before he returned to Spain with UD Salamanca and retired in 2006.
Clubs: Sevilla FC, FC Barcelona, and Valencia CF
Years active: 2007–2008, 2008–2012, 2014
Bamako native Seydou Keita first moved to LaLiga in 2007 after signing a four-year deal with Sevilla. From there he went from strength to strength as a versatile midfielder.
He made it through injuries, wins, and losses – and becoming a fan favourite in Seville, Barcelona and Valencia – before retiring at the age of 37.
Keita won three LaLiga titles, two Champions Leagues and three Copa del Reys during his time at the Camp Nou.
Clubs: Sevilla FC, Valencia CF, and Atlético de Madrid
Years active: 2012–2013, 2017–2020, 2020–present
Born in France, Kondogbia started his career at Lens then signed with Sevilla at the age of 19. After a few years between France and Italy he returned to Spain joining Valencia firstly on loan, a move that turned permanent in 2018.
Later in 2020, Kondogbia joined Atleti on a four-year contract after the club was granted an exception to sign him outside of the transfer window.
The defensive midfielder has also turned out for both France and the Central African Republic national teams.
He’s a key player in Atleti’s title charge this season, with Simeone keen on his all-round abilities in the middle of the park.
Clubs: Málaga CF, CD Leganés, and Sevilla FC
Years active: 2016–2018, 2018–2020 and 2020-present
A native of Fes, Morocco, Youssef En-Nesyri may be the youngest player on our list, but he’s made quite the name for himself in the last five years. Not yet 25, he’s already represented his country twice at the Africa Cup of Nations. The Moroccan is on fire for Sevilla right now, having scored an impressive 13 goals in 23 appearances this campaign.
For years, the best football league in the world, LaLiga, has been nurturing the growth and development of talented African footballers. A quick glance at the list only proves that their dedication to uplifting the African continent is something that they’ll always strive to achieve.
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