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Sun, 17 Nov 2019 11:56 GMT

Cameroon’s football legend Eto'o hopes Ballon d'Or to return to Africa


Mahmoud Al Assal

Thu, 07 Nov 2019 18:01 GMT

As the vote for FIFA’s football award, the Ballon d'Or, will be closed on Friday November 8th, Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o has expressed his hopes that another player from Africa will have the chance to claim the title this year, as in his view African players still do not get the international recognition they deserve.

Liberia’s George Weah, the former Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan striker who is now the president of his country, is the only African player to win the trophy in 1995.

"Western media dominate our media in Africa, so they definitely have an influence. People prefer to see a Lionel Messi goal," Eto'o told AFP.

The former Barcelona and Chelsea star said that African players are not respected and are not always properly appreciated.

The 38-year-old, Eto'o recently hung up his boots after a glorious career, in which he claimed the UEFA Champions League three times, twice with Barcelona, and another with Inter Milan, alongside the Africa Cup of Nations twice.

The four times African player of the year winner, Eto'o never won the prize for the world's best player, although he insists he has no regrets.

"No, because I won so many trophies, I made so many dreams, and for me that is the equivalent of winning the Ballon d'Or. However, I do feel for my younger brothers who came along after my generation."

The journalists’ voting for the trophy will be finished on Friday November 8th, as there are five African players on the 30-man shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or.

The 2019 Ballon d'Or winner will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on December 2nd.

Senegal's Sadio Mane, and Egypt's Mohamed Salah, are among the nominees for the title, after the duo starred in the Liverpool side that won last season's Champions League.

"That was an opportunity for Africa to see a Sadio Mane or a Mohamed Salah on the podium, and why not win it? They both had wonderful seasons and it wouldn't have shocked anyone had they won," Eto'o said.