Following an incredible career playing for some of the biggest clubs in world football, including FC Barcelona and Inter Milan, Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o has now stated his belief that football has the power to unite the African continent.
Although he never played professionally on the continent, the ex-Blaugrana forward has always been a great ambassador for football in Africa.
In a recent interview, Eto'o likened the beautiful game to a religion, saying football can give hope to so many young Africans who are unsure of what their futures hold.
"There's no perfect continent or country in the world, (and) I believe this beautiful game can unite the people of Africa like nothing else," he said, according to BBC Sport.
"Football has a massive power to create unity out of division, joy from sadness and turn a multi-cultural community into one.
"I know politicians, too, are equally aware that meeting the expectations of the people is crucial and football gives them a chance to connect with them.
"Football is a powerful religion – it preaches peace, bonding and love.
"It has also given an opportunity to a lot of African professionals to help inspire the young ones, build their community and give the next generation something to hope for.
"In Africa, we all play football as kids in any part of the continent without any idea what the future holds.
"We need to properly use this game to engage our youth, unite the people and share in the power of football."
While he enjoyed his best playing years in Europe, Eto'o still holds the records as the all-time top goalscorer at the Africa Cup of Nations with 18 strikes, and is also his country's best scorer in history with 56 goals.
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