Samuel Eto’o aka Papa Eto’o took to his social media to share an inspiring journey of his success story. This one was to inspire and show support to the Lionesses during the just ended African Women’s Cup Of Nations which Nigeria won. This is what he said:
“I would like to share a little story with you. It’s a 3-part story.
Part 1: It all starts with a dream
A few years ago, I arrived in this beautiful team of Cameroon, unknown for some, known by others. I was happy to be called by the coach for the 2000 AfCON. Knowing that I would have the opportunity to defend millions of Cameroonians was for me a great honor, a great responsibility, but also an opportunity to show my talent.
However, during the preparation for this AfCON, the coach told me that I would be the 4th striker, after Mboma, Job and N’Diefi. I was disappointed, because I knew I had the ability to defend this country that is so dear to me. But it was not enough to discourage me; victory is always at the end of the road.
I still remember having butterflies in my stomach, before the opening game against Ghana, I was going to sing the national anthem in chorus with millions of Cameroonians. This little boy from the poor neighborhoods of Douala knew he was going to write a beautiful story, he just needed the chance to be on the pitch.
At the end of the first period, the coach asked N’Diefi to warm up. I also stood up to stretch myself, without his approval. I knew I was ready, I just needed an opportunity.
And that opportunity presented itself, when the coach Manga-Onguéné asked the coach Lechantre to bring me in.
It was the beginning of a dream…
Part 2/3: Eyes On The Prize
We were winning, we were happy, with no jealousy or promises from some leaders to some senior players that they would be selectors of the team at the end of their careers. We were just there to give our nation its place back: #1 in Africa!
The day before the game, I said to Minister Owona: “Excellency, tomorrow I will score, but please tell our President that after the game we would like to celebrate in Yaoundé. His answer was: “Samuel, if you’re sure of yourself then you will have your plane to Yaounde after the match”
On the day of the final in Surulere, everything was white and green around us. The tension was mounting, but nothing and no one could make me lose sight of the objective: bring the trophy back to Cameroon. My face lit up as I advanced into the stadium: I was imperturbable!
I was in my game, I was in my final. On a free-kick on Nigeria’s left flank, I headed for Wome and said to him: “Strike at the first post, I’ll be there! “. I made an oriented control, the goal was next! I did not stop running, thinking of those millions of Cameroonians who were jubilating at home. As I think of it my heart races as if it was yesterday.
Later, on a stopped ball, I said again: “Give me the ball Pierre! “. Another control on Okpara and I served a caviar-ball to Magic Mboma, who said: “You are the best player in the world! “. We were happy!
The match was long and difficult. But at never got our eyes off the prize.
We won on penalties.
Part 3/3: For the love of Cameroon
Dear sisters: Ngo Ndom Annette (1), Bororo Tecle (16), Mambingo Mambingo Isabelle (21), Leuko Yvonne Patrice (04), Marie Awona (11), Meffometou Falone Ysis (15), Ejangue Siliki Augustine Sylvia (05), Yango Grace (10), Nchout Njoya Ajara 03, Feudjio Raissa 08, Ngo Mbeleck Genevieve 20, Ngani Agathe 06, Nkada Agnes 14, , Ngoo Manie (09), Ada Jacquette (13), Akaba Henriette Michelle Edoa (18), Aboudi Onguene (07), Ngo Mback Batoum (19), Gaelle Enganamouit (17),
Dear coach Enow Ngachu and all technical staff,
Please know that for me and for millions of Cameroonians you are our champions!
Many thanks once again to the Presidential couple for inviting me to the opening of the 2016 Women’s AfCON and to your first game. I shouted like never before! I also thank them for inviting me to the final of this competition. Unfortunately I have a game the same day and I will not be physically there to scream and cheer you up tomorrow. But my heart, my most positive thoughts will be with you, like those thousands of Cameroonians who will be in the stadium and in front of their screens to encourage you for the final victory. The happiness you have given us so far has no price!
Dear captain, if one day I’ve been able, it’s because I have never lost sight of my objective. So do not lose your sight of yours, neither tomorrow nor later.
Thank you, thank you, thank you again for the happiness you have given me these days. I wish you all the happiness in the world tomorrow. Have fun!
Your big brother who loves you.
SEF – the little boy who always dreams for the happiness of his country”