The former Cameroon captain said in a recent interview that his move to the Dagestan club was not because of money but to show African youths that big dreams pay off in life
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan star joined Anzhi in August 2011, becoming the highest-paid player in the world with an estimated salary of €20 million a year. But the three-time European champion says he is more interested in being a role model for African youth.
“Many people would tell you Samuel Eto’o went to Dagestan because of a salary of €20 million per annum. No! I chose to go and adventure in that part of the world because I wanted to show those who are looking up to me, I mean African youths, that an African footballer can reach such height of earning the biggest pay in the world,” Eto’o told French radio station RFI.
“I have noticed that African youths no longer have big dreams. They are very limited in their vision these days. They are afraid to venture into the future. I feel the Anzhi project will inspire many,” he added.
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The four-time African Footballer of the Year acknowledged the rumours that he was contemplating a move back to central Europe for more competitive football, but said he would stay out his three-year contract with the Dikaya Divisiya.
“I came to Anzhi to help the club grow, to lift it out of oblivion and start participating in European competitions. This will not happen in a year. I’m taking my time and I vow to complete my three years there,” he said.
But at 31, the Cameroonian ought to be thinking of his last days in football, and he says he will end where he started.
“I’ll end my football career at Mallorca, where the whole journey truly began and where it will end as well, but I don’t know when I’ll move down.”