Samuel Eto’o, who returned to Cameroon national team last week after nearly a year of absence, has paid homage to the entire group and coach for the “good work” despite their crashing out of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying after losing to Cape Verde on a 3-2 aggregate.
The 31-year-old four-time African footballer of the year thanked coach Jean-Paul Akono for his initiative to field a number of young players such as Malaga’s 16-year-old striker Fabrice Olinga and 20-year-old Vincent Aboubakar of French Ligue 1 side Valenciennes, whom Eto’o described as the future of the nation’s football.
When asked whether his return could be termed as fruitless, the former Barcelona forward fumed and said he couldn’t have salvaged an already “rotten” situation in just few days.
“The situation was already out of hand. I couldn’t have played the role of a messiah. The question now is to turn our focus on the future of Cameroon football and see if we can bring back our old glories, by counting on these young and rising stars and more to be discovered,” Eto’o was quoted as saying by Yaounde-based daily Le Messager.
The Indomitable Lions will not be showing up at another Afcon finals after they failed to qualify for the 2012 edition held in their central African sub-region in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.