African legend Samuel Eto'o, who spent his best years at FC Barcelona, has revealed the moment after which his dad gave him his blessing to play football.
The Cameroon icon enjoyed a remarkable career at the highest level, representing clubs such as Real Madrid, Barca, Inter, Chelsea and Everton in Europe.
To this day, Eto'o remains the only player to have won back-to-back trebles, with Barca and Inter in 2010 and 2011, respectively, under two of football's greatest managers in Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.
In a recent article for FIFA, he recalled that his parents did not know about his passion for the sport, but allowed him to continue playing when they realised how talented he was.
"I vividly remember one day I played a game in my city and I had to hide in order to go play," he said.
"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.
"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."
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