Cameroon striker, Samuel Eto’o, has announced his retirement from international football today in a tweet posted on his personal account. He thanked the continent of Africa for their support and thanked his fans as well. The 33-year-old recently signed with Everton, thus ending his one-year stay with Chelsea for a two-year deal with the Toffees.
Eto’o holds the title of all-time leading goal-scorer for the Cameroon National team, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament. He made the third most appearances for his nation with 118 total appearances since his first call-up to the National team in 1997.
After joining Real Madrid’s youth academy in 1997, Eto’o played with the Real Madrid B team until he turned 18. He then spent the next few years on-loan to different clubs including Leganés, Espanyol and Mallorca where he was later signed and played for four years. While with Mallorca he made 120 appearances and scored 48 goals.
In 2004, Eto’o left Mallorca and joined FC Barcelona for €24 million after both clubs and Real Madrid fought to keep the striker. While with Barcelona, Eto’o earned many awards including the Pichichi Trophy, UEFA Best Forward of the Year, FIFA World Player of the Year, and his third African Player of the Year. Eventually leaving as one of the top 10 goal scorers of all-time with 108 goals in 145 appearances – a phenomenal return.
During the 2009 transfer season, Eto’o signed with Inter Milan in exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimović and put pen to paper on a five-year deal. He helped Inter win the Champions League in the 2009-2010 season and earned achieved a treble in one season, for the second year in a row. Despite 67 appearances and 33 goals, Eto’o was again traded and signed a three-year deal with Anzhi Makhachkala for the largest transfer fee in history at that time. However, he eventually left the Russian powerhouse due to budget cuts to Chelsea for a one-year deal. He probably surpassed most of the supporters’ expectations, firing in nine goals and providing two assists in 16 games in the league. His experience will now aid the Toffees.
After earning his first appearance for his country just before his 16th birthday, Eto’o was the youngest player in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and eventually appeared in three World Cups. He helped Cameroon win the Africa Cup of Nations twice and earned African Player of the Year four times.