The Fan Park Crew are debating who Africa’s best ever striker in Europe is, and it wasn’t hard choosing my pick. I ask you, the reader, to remember what this legendary man has achieved, and you might understand why I say that without doubt, he is the best African forward to have ever played in Europe.
I’ve decided to argue that Samuel Eto’o is the best African striker to have left his irremovable mark on European football, where he has played for some of the continent's elite clubs - such as Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea.
The Cameroonian was a product of Real Madrid’s youth team, where he spent three seasons. He didn’t burst onto the scene for the Spanish giants, nor was his future success written in the stars, and this is what separates him the rest – his drive.
After four years at Mallorca, where he scored 39 goals, he was bought by Barcelona in 2004, but what he would go on to achieve was unforeseeable. For the Catalan club, he scored a total of 129 goals in 198 games – and it was at this club where he placed himself above any other African forward in Europe, though he has gone on to win several trophies with different clubs.
Let’s just say that he’s practically conquered Europe, as Eto’o has won the Copa del Rey twice, the La Liga three times, the Spanish Supercup twice, the UEFA Champions League three times, the Italian Supercoppa once and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Individually in Europe, he never went unnoticed, winning the UEFA Forward of the Year in 2006, the African Player of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005 and in 2010, as well as being named in UEFA’s Team of the Year in 2005 and 2006. He also came third in 2005 as the FIFA World Player of the Year.
In total, Eto’o scored 274 goals in Europe, which is far more than both George Weah and Didier Drogba for that matter.
He’s definitely Africa’s best ever striker to have played in Europe, and unfortunately for George Weah’s fans, Eto’o’s trophy cabinet tells no lies.
Now, who do you believe is Africa’s best ever striker to have left their mark on Europe?