Retired Cameroonian football legend, Samuel Eto’o has disclosed how his soccer aspiration almost waste away due to strict restrictions from parents while he was of young age.
The 39-year-old football legend who played in the Spanish and English competitions as a striker before his retirement revealed how a local football competition at his homeland changed his parents perspective which finally gave him the freedom to pursue his dream.
Naija News recalls that Samuel before his retirement from the game of soccer won three UEFA Champions League titles, 3 La Liga trophies, 2 Copa del Reys, Serie A, 2 Coppa Italia and as well the FIFA Club World Cup.
According to the legend, he faced denial to appear on the pitch while he was growing up, noting that he had to sometimes sneak out of their apartment to go out to the field. His parent never believed in football, to them it is a game for the idle hand, for dullards who hates school.
The former FC Barcelona forward revealed that the narrative changed after his father had a glimpse of him performing excellently in a local game in his city.
He shared, “I lived and breathed football – but my parents were very hard on me,’ the 39-year-old said via FIFA.com. ‘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 looking back.”
Samuel added, “I had the blessing 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.”
Samuel Eto’o’s football career did not end until he had played for Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Everton including his home country senior team in the International level, Naija News understands.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, has extended his contract with Nigeria till 2022 after he agreed to a pay cut and to reside in the country, Naija News reports.