Former Inter striker Samuel Eto’o announces a friendly game at San Siro on May 23 with many other football legends such as Francesco Totti, Andrea Pirlo and Leo Messi.
Eto’o has now become the president of the Cameroon FA and has organised a friendly game in Italy to raise funds for his NGO and Slums Dunk.
“I don’t want to talk about football, but what this sport can do to favour inclusion and integration,” he told La Repubblica.
“It’s an extraordinary tool because it overtakes obstacles and speaks every language. I played in many countries and both Spain and Italy welcomed me warmly. The message is that we can live all together, respecting each other even if there are clubs that think they are more important than others and tend to reaffirm certain hierarchies.
“I believe in multi-culture,” he continued. “Sport is great because it has a role for everyone. I also faced monkey chants and I had issues in the streets as well, but I can tell you that Italy is the least racist country in Europe and perhaps the least hypocritical.
“My family still lives in Milan, my wife feels well there. Those in the stadiums are minorities that ruin the country’s image. I don’t understand how they haven’t yet solved this problem. In England, they’ve managed to do so. We should never give up and focus on the children who return home and hear the adults talk about these things in a certain way.”
Leo Messi, a former teammate of Eto’o at Barcelona, will be at San Siro on May 23 for the friendly game along with other football legends. Wesley Sneijder, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Paulo Dybala, Pippi Inzaghi, Andriy Shevchenko and Lilian Thuram, among the others, will also attend the game.
How did Eto’o convince Messi to join?
“I was at Barcelona when he was promoted to the first team and I gave him some tips. I told him: ‘What do you want to do, be an average footballer or work hard to become someone?’
“To me, he is the best, we still talk…