Former Indomitable Lions captain Samuel Eto’o Fils has said he wants to become the first black coach to win the prestigious UEFA Champions League by EXE News.
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker has vowed to do so in style, playing possession football practiced by his former coach at Barcelona Josep Guardiola Sala.
The 38 year old who retired from playing early this month after seeing out his contract with Qatar SC. He has opted to continue as coach amongst the many post playing career options that are at his disposal.
Eto’o had a brief coaching spell at Antalyaspor, where he served as player coach for the last 13 games of the season in his last season with the Turkish club.
He is hoping that if he succeeds to win the UEFA Champions League, it will help to give non-white coaches unprecedented recognition.
He is particularly known for his outright condemnation of racism, a subject which has been on the lips of many in the football world after the recent racist attacks on Congolese born Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku by Cagliari fans, during a Serie A game between Inter Milan and Cagliari in Sardinia.
Surprisingly, Cagliari have gone unpunished by the Italian Football Federation.
Italian television pundit Luciano Passirani was shown the door this week after making comments that were judged racist against Lukaku, though he defended himself as rather trying to compliment the Inter striker.
“I want to be the first coach of colour to win the Champions League, by playing with a team like Guardiola does,” Eto’o told Cadena SER.
Eto’o has expressed his concerns about the persistence of racism in football.
“These have been very sad moments and the worst thing is it keeps repeating itself. I ask on my knees for you to help us so that football in stands is more cleaner, with more education,” Eto’o said.
“Yellow, black, orange…in the end, we are all the same, and our children should know that. They shout at you like a monkey and then ask you for a photo. They have a photo with a monkey.”
Eto’o had a strange celebration in the final of the 2009 Championships League against Manchester United. He equalized for Barcelona in the 2006 final against Arsenal.
When he opened the scores against Manchester United three years later in the final in Rome, the forward celebrated by slapping his exposed forearm.
“It meant, ‘I am black and that is why they don’t talk about me’,” he explained claiming that no one talked about him before the match.
“I was the only one from the two teams to have scored in a champions league final [apart from Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008] and no one talked about me.
“They asked about Cristiano and my boy Messi, who had not yet arrived…but the one who had scored in a final before was me. And I scored again.”
The former goal getting machine for the Indomitable Lions and the fourteen clubs he played for, is currently on a well deserved break with his family. Eto’o envisages a return to the club of his heart, FC Barcelona though for now he does not know in what capacity.
“I am sure I will come back. How? I don’t know, but I’ll come back!”