History in Sport

4 years since the retirement of the only one who won two consecutive trebles

Samuel Eto'o, who failed at Real Madrid, became Real Mallorca's top scorer, and the first footballer to win the treble twice in a row when he did it with Barcelona and Inter Milan

Samuel Eto'o at Inter Milan (Photo: Shutterstock)

Achieving a treble, winning both local titles, the championship and the state cup, and the most important title of all, the Champions League is the pinnacle of ambition for any football club. Eight teams have achieved it throughout history with two of them achieving it twice. Only one player throughout history has done it twice in a row, Samuel Eto'o who did it in two different clubs: Barcelona and Inter Milan.

Samuel Ato was born on March 10, 1981, in Douala, the largest city in Cameroon. He grew up as a striker at Kedgi's sports academy, before moving at the age of 16 to Spanish luxury club Real Madrid. From Real he was loaned to Leganes and Espanyol where he did not leave much of a mark.

In the 1998 World Cup, Eto'o was called up to Cameroon's senior team when he was only 17 years old, becoming the youngest player in the tournament. Cameroon finished fourth in the group stage with 2 draws and a loss. A year later after leaving Espanyol Eto'o was loaned to Real Miroca, where his career took an important turn.

Samuel Eto'o gets his revenge at Real Madrid

In Majorca he scored six goals and was bought by the team, where in the Balearic Islands the Cameroonian flourished, becoming the club's all-time top scorer with 70 goals. Next up is Juan Arango the all-time record holder for appearances and goals for the Venezuela national football team with only 46 goals with Eto'o doing it in just 120 appearances compared to Arango's 183.

In 2000, he won the gold medal with his team in the Olympic tournament with a penalty shootout victory over the Spanish team in the final, and in the Africa Cup of Nations also with a penalty shootout victory over Nigeria. In the African Championship, the young Eto'o scored four goals. Two years later, he and his team retained the title of African champions, when they beat Senegal once more on penalties.

In 2003 he won the King's Cup with Majorca, the only trophy in the team's history when they beat Recreativo de Huelva 0:3 in the final with Eto'o scoring a brace. In the quarter-finals, they knocked out Real Madrid with a huge 1:5 in the summation of the two games, with Eto'o scoring a brace and taking revenge on the team that didn't want him.

An equalizing goal in the Champions League final

A year later, he got some more revenge at Real when he signed with the hated rival Barcelona, with whom he won the championship in 2004/05 and 2005/06, in the same season Barcelona also won the Champions League when Eto'o scored the equalizer against Arsenal in the final, received the Pichichi Trophy award and finished as Spain's top scorer with 26 goals.

In the championship celebrations of 2005, Eto'o raised the revenge level at Real when he made insulting sentences towards the Blancos fans, as personal revenge, and with the aim of exciting the Barcelona fans, and was severely punished. In 2006, Eto'o's career took another turn when he was injured in a Champions League match against SV Werder Bremen of Germany, and missed most of the season.

Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o clashed with him (Photo: Shutterstock)

A year later relations with Barcelona began to deteriorate when he refused to come on as a substitute in the 85th minute of a league match, he attacked coach Frank Rijkaard and the big star Ronaldinho, calling them "bad people". At the beginning of the 2008/09 season, the new coach of Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, said that Eto'o was out of the plans for the upcoming season.

Two consecutive trebles for Samuel Eto'o

Despite Guardiola's statement, Eto'o remained in Barcelona and was a big part of the historic treble win, when Barcelona also won the championship and the Spanish Cup with Eto'o scoring 30 league goals, and a total of 36 goals in all competitions. At the end of that summer, when the relationship between Guardiola and Eto'o continued to be bad, and as a result he moved to Inter Milan The Italians, with Zlatan Ibrahimović doing the opposite route in return.

Already in Eto'o's first official match at Inter, he scored, when Inter lost 1:2 to Lazio in the Italian Super Cup. In the group stage, he met the new ex-Barcelona but was unable to score as Inter finished the games against the Catalans with a 0:0, and a 0:2 loss. In the round of 16, Inter met the English Chelsea F.C., the Italians won both games with Eto'o scoring the winning goal in England.

Inter fans at the 2010 Champions League final (Photo: Johnny Vulkan from New York, East Village, USA.)

A week later he also scored his first goals in the league when he scored a pair against Livorno as he scored a pair in a 0:3 victory, with the second goal being a Bicycle kick. On May 22 of the same year, Inter won the Champions League after a 2:0 victory over the German Bayern Munich in a match held at the Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid's stadium. Thanks to the victory, Eto'o became the first player in history to win two consecutive trebles when Inter also won the championship and the Italian Cup.

The following year, Eto'o met again the team against whom he was injured in 2006, Werder Bremen, and scored a hat-trick against them in a 0:4 victory for Inter. A round after that brought Inter a dramatic 3:4 victory against Tottenham Hotspur scoring a double and cooking two. In the league he scored 21 goals, scoring no less than five doubles.

At the end of that season, he moved to the Russian Anzhi Makhachkala, and from there, except for one year in the English Chelsea, he did not return to the top of the world until the end of his career on September 7, 2019, when in the last season he plays in the Qatari Qatar SC. He played in the team until September 8, 2013, when he retired as the team's top scorer with 56 goals.

Samuel Eto'o at the Western Wall (Photo: Orel Cohen, Flash90.)

On December 11, 2021, Samuel Eto'o was elected president of the Cameroon Football Association, since then he managed to cause several scandals when, in the last World Cup, he kicked a fan who wanted to take a picture of him after the dismissal of the Cameroon national team. Later this year his tapes were published and it became known that he sold games, and made sure that the teams he wanted were promoted to the league. In addition, it was published this year that he was required to pay alimony to his family, but did not do so.


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