In this week’s Then and Now feature Soccer Laduma compares the performance Samuel Eto’o at the 2010 World Cup to what we can expect of him and Cameroon at the tournament in Brazil.
The 2010 World Cup was Eto’o’s third appearance at a FIFA World Cup and he arrived in South Africa as the leading African goal-scorer with eight goals.
The then 29-year-old reached the climax of his career in May 2010, when he won his second consecutive Champions League final with Inter after he had clinched the trophy with FC Barcelona the previous year.
He also won the Coppa Italia as well as Seria A title, which meant he became the only ever player to win two consecutive European trebles – Eto’o had been part of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team which won six trophies the previous year.
However, the 2010 World Cup was later described by him as the 'biggest disappointment' of his career. Cameroon was already eliminated after the first two group games, which they lost to Japan (1-0) and Denmark (2-1).
The final group match against Netherlands also ended with a 2-1 defeat, but Eto’o had at least scored his countries only two goals in South Africa.
Eto’o finished the following campaign with a personal record score of 37 goals in all competitions and then moved to Anzhi Makhachkala to become the highest paid player by the time.
However, in August 2013 he joined Chelsea and had an indifferent season at Stamford Bridge this year, scoring 14 goals in 41 games.
In December 2011, Eto’o’s international career was overshadowed by an eight-month ban, which he received for refusing to play a friendly against Algeria.
He returned to the national side in August 2012, but only scored his next goal on 23 March 2013 after going 16 months without an international goal.
He is Cameroon’s leading all-time goal-scorer and the country's third most capped player, with 55 goals from 112 caps.
Cameroon has been drawn in Group A with hosts Brazil, Croatia and Mexico and the ageing Eto’o will need to perform like Roger Milla at the 1990 World Cup to ensure his side can make it out of the group stage.
What do you make of Cameroon’s chances at the Brazil World Cup? Have your say in the comment section below.