Samuel Eto’o, a former member of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, predicts an all-African final on December 18 and that Cameroon will win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Samuel Eto’o also cautioned England to watch out for the hosts Qatar in the Round of 16.
Even though his team enters the competition rated 43rd in the world, Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) president Eto’o has made no secret of the fact that he expects big things from his players during the tournament, which begins on Nov. 20.
Eto’o, who competed in four World Cups with Cameroon but never advanced past the group stage, believes that the 2022 competition will be Africa’s greatest chance to win the biggest trophy in sport.
“Africa has always had the potential to achieve a successful World Cup, but we haven’t always shown our best face up to now,” Eto’o stated in a statement that ESPN received while serving as an ambassador for Qatar Legacy.
“During the years, African teams have acquired more and more experience, and I think they’re ready not only to participate in a World Cup, but also to win it.
“Cameroon will win the World Cup final against Morocco.”
The 41-year-old also foresaw the precise paths both African nations will travel to the championship match, which has never featured teams from outside of Europe or South America, and he also warned England that Qatar will pose a threat in the Round of 16 to their chances of advancing.
“We’ve already been able to observe the work accomplished by Qatar in recent years and the way in which the team has gained in maturity,” Eto’o continued. “The other national sides are not suspecting Qatar’s qualities, and I think they’ll be able to create a surprise.”
He believes Morocco will defeat Belgium, Portugal, and the defending champions France before facing Cameroon, who will have defeated Belgium and Senegal in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively.
“It would be a dream come true [to win the title],” Eto’o concluded. “For any player, winning titles is the ultimate goal.”
“As president of our federation, I would love to see Cameroon win the World Cup.”
The Indomitable Lions, who are taking part in Africa’s record-breaking ninth World Cup, are grouped in Group G with Brazil, Serbia, and Switzerland.
In an interview with FIFA’s official website earlier this week, Eto’o expressed his desire for Cameroon to draw inspiration from his underdog Internazionale squad, who beat Bayern Munich and Barcelona to win the 2010 Champions League under Jose Mourinho.
“I don’t see why we can’t win,” he told world football’s governing body official website. “I believe that to win the World Cup you don’t need to be monsters or aliens, you just need good preparation, a strong mentality, and a pinch of madness.”
“I always take Inter as an example: No one at the start of 2009/10 thought we could win the Champions League, but Mourinho did something crazy, with a group of men and warriors,” he noted. “I want the same thing as that for Cameroon as well.”
As expected, bookmakers disagree with Eto’o. Brazil is now the favorite over Argentina, France, and England.
The only countries with larger odds are Iran, Australia, Tunisia, Costa Rica, and Saudi Arabia. Cameroon and Morocco are placed at 250/1.
Against November 24, the Lions take on Switzerland at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah to start their World Cup.
Who is Samuel Eto’o?
Samuel Eto’o Fils, a former player and current head of the Cameroonian Football Federation, was born on March 10, 1981. He took office as the president of Cameroon FA on December 11, 2021.
Eto’o is recognized as one of the greatest strikers of all time and was once considered one of the finest in the world by commentators.
He is also considered the greatest African athletes of all time, taking up the Africa’s best footballer of the year award a record four times in a row (in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010).
Eto’o was a part of the Cameroon national team that took home the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics.
In 2000 and 2002, he also prevailed at the Africa Cup of Nations. Eto’o has competed in six Africa Cup of Nations and four World Cups.
He is Cameroon’s all-time best scorer and third-most capped player, with 56 goals in 118 appearances. He is AFCON’s all-time leading scorer with 18 goals. In August 2014, Eto’o declared his retirement from international football.
When Will The FIFA World Cup 2022 Begin?
The FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international men’s football championship played between the senior national teams of FIFA member countries, is set to take place for the 22nd time in November 2022.
Qatar will host it from November 20 through December 18, 2022.
After the event in South Korea and Japan in 2002, this will be the second World Cup wholly held in Asia and the first World Cup ever to be contested in the Arab world.
Furthermore, the tournament is planned to be the last with 32-team; for the tournament in the United States, Mexico, and Canada in 2026, the total number of participants are expected to grow to 48 teams.