Samuel Eto'o was born in Nkon on 10 March 1981 and he is the fourth forward to join the illustrious club and brings the 2021 entries to an end, alongside Gianluca Pagliuca, Marco Materazzi and Wesley Sneijder in the fourth edition of the Nerazzurri Hall of Fame.
Eto’o is the latest goalscoring superstar to go down in Inter history, following in the footsteps of Ronaldo, Giuseppe Meazza and Diego Milito. The Cameroonian was crucial to the club’s stunning string of successes between 2009 and 2011.
The handover from the 2020 edition to the 2021 one is particularly reminiscent of the way Milito and Eto’o exchanged passes en route to treble glory in 2010. The magic from that glorious team is very much alive and kicking over a decade later, as shown by the fans choosing a third player from that era to be inducted into the Inter Hall of Fame.
After joining the club in summer 2009, Eto’o announced himself with a goal in the Italian Super Cup against Lazio in China that ultimately proved to be worthless. That was the first of his 53 goals in 102 appearances, during which the team racked up a stunning haul of no fewer than six trophies.
In 2009/10, Eto’o kicked off the campaign up front alongside Milito, firing Inter to Serie A glory, but it was in the Champions League that he made the biggest mark. The forward struck against Rubin Kazan to fire the Nerazzurri into the knockout stages where they took on a strong Chelsea side. Eto’o bagged the only goal of the game in the return leg at Stamford Bridge as Inter progressed. Jose Mourinho moved the Cameroonian out to the left wing, where he found more space and gave the team better balance. The nail-biter against Eto’o’s former Barcelona team-mates at the Camp Nou will always be remembered, along with the glorious final against Bayern Munich in Madrid in which Milito netted the crucial goals, but not without Eto’o causing havoc throughout.
Eto’o lifted the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Champions League with the club before notching a brace in an Italian Super Cup success. That wasn’t the end, however, as Inter reached the top of the world thanks to his goal in between strikes by Goran Pandev and Jonathan Biabiany against Mazembe. His joyous dance featuring a couple of plastic bags reached every corner of the Nerazzurri globe. There was still time for another Coppa Italia success in 2011 before his departure.
Samuel’s link with the Nerazzurri is incredibly strong and the mark he left on the club will never be forgotten. His class, power, strength and charisma ensured the number 9 has a special place in every Inter fan’s heart along with a deserved place in the Inter Hall of Fame.
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