Eto’o: Mane and Salah should have won Fifa’s best player award
Cameroonian football legend, Samuel Eto’o, has publicly questioned why African stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were not considered for the world’s best player award at the Best Fifa Football Awards on Monday night in Milan.
The retired footballer spoke during an interview at the sidelines of the glittering event.
Eto’o’s former club mate at Barcelona, Lionel Messi, beat Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award.
“The best one (players) for me is Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but they are not here,” said Eto’o.
Eto’o’s comments are likely to open up a debate as to if African players are snubbed at international awards.
Former AC Milan star George Weah, now the President of Liberia, remains the only African player to win Fifa’s best player’s award back in 1995.
Messi scored 36 times last season, more than anyone else, helping Barcelona win the La Liga title.
Mane and Salah on the other hand were joint top scorers alongside another African player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) of Arsenal in the English Premier League.
The three players scored 22 goals apiece in the 2018-19 EPL season.
Mane and Salah also led Liverpool to winning the Uefa Champions League.
Mane was also influential as Senegal made it to the final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Eto’o, now 39, is one of Africa’s most successful players of all time.
Eto’o is also a four-time winner of the African Player of the Year award (2003, 2004, 2005, 2010), an accomplishment no other Africa players has achieved.