Samuel Eto’o eclipses Roger Milla in journeyman stakes

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Samuel Eto’o’s move to Konyaspor should see him eclipse legendary Cameroon journeyman Roger Milla

65-year-old Milla, one of Africa’s greatest all-time forwards, will forever be remembered for his age-defying performances at the World Cup, his longevity and his adaptability, having played for 10 clubs during a 26-year senior career.

The hitman started out with Leopards Douala after representing Eclair de Douala as a youngster and switched to domestic heavyweights Tonnerre Yaounde after a goal-laden spell with Leopards.

Having already won the Cameroonian Premier League with Leopards, he would claim the African Cup Winners’ Cup with Tonnerre before embarking on a career in French football.

While his achievements in Europe don’t get as much attention as his heroics at the World Cup, Milla excelled during spells with Valenciennes, AS Monaco, SC Bastia, Saint-Etienne and Montpellier.

Perhaps stardom only truly came his way with the Stephanois and at MHSC, but he did win the French cup both with Monaco in 1980 and a year late, during the Corsicans’ only triumph in the competition. 

After dropping into the French second tier, he briefly spent time with Reunion outfit Saint-Pierrois before returning to Tonnerre.

Following his star showing at the 1994 World Cup—where he became the tournament’s oldest goalscorer—he ended his career in Indonesia with Pelita Jaya and Putra Samarinda.

Roger Milla - Cameroon

In total, Milla played for 10 different clubs during a remarkable senior career, setting him apart as one of African football’s most notable—and successful—journeymen.

However, even his achievements are primed to be eclipsed by Eto’o after the Cameroonian superstar completed a late-window move to Konyaspor.

Before the window, Eto’o had equalled Milla’s record, despite making more transfers than his predecessor with the national side.

Like the Cameroonian great, Eto’o has played for 10 clubs, despite signing for 12 during his career.

Before signing for Barcelona, where he enjoyed his greatest successes, in 2004, the striker had featured for Real Madrid, Leganes and Mallorca.

He also moved to Espanyol briefly on loan in 1999, but never made an appearance for the side, ensuring that—until now—he hadn’t before eclipsed Milla.

In 2009, and after four Spanish titles and two Champions League wins, he swapped Spain for Italy, joining Internazionale, where he would win another European Cup.

Samuel Eto'o Real Madrid

Spells with Anzhi Makhachkala, Chelsea, Everton and Sampdoria followed, before the 36-year-old joined Antalyaspor in 2015.

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Over the last two and a half years, the veteran has proved his enduring class in the Super Lig, netting 38 goals over the last two seasons, and six during the first half of the ongoing campaign before securing a move to Konyaspor.

Should he make an official league appearance for his new side—and he’s eligible to play against Alanyaspor this weekend—he will make a league appearance for his 11th club, therefore eclipsing his hero Milla in the journeyman stakes.

Both of these two will be remembered for much more than going through a litany of employers, but it’s testament to their longevity and their ability to adapt to different climbs and contexts, that they represented so many sides and touched the fanbases of so many diverse clubs.

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