AFCON icon Samuel Eto’o earned absurd salary at Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala
Africa Cup of Nations legend Samuel Eto’o was a global megastar considered by many as one of the greatest forwards of his generation.
The former striker, 40, is now the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation and in charge of delivering the latest AFCON tournament in his home country, which got underway on Sunday.
His own glittering career included guiding Cameroon to two AFCON victories and scoring an outstanding 56 international goals, as well three Champions League winners’ medals for Barcelona and Inter Milan at club level.
But despite all his achievements, perhaps the most jaw-dropping moment of his career arrived when he signed for little-known club Anzhi Makhachkala.
The Russian side secured the forward’s services by paying Inter £18.4million for him in 2011.
Anzhi were taken over by billionaire tycoon Suleyman Kerimov in January that year, who decided to pump money into the club and even secured former World Cup winner Roberto Carlos as his first major signing.
In an attempt to get Eto’o to sign, the ambitious club offered him a staggering €10million (£8.7million) per season contract on a three-year-deal, averaging out to around £170,000-a-week.
The figure was astronomical at the time for a player aged 30, but was somewhat justified considering the Cameroonian netted 37 goals the previous season.
Eto’o’s whopping salary placed him behind Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest-earning footballer at the time, with the former Real Madrid man on £10.5million-a-year.