Ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2021, Qatar Legacy Ambassador and retired football player Samuel Eto’o recalled the Cameroon team’s triumph, when it won the gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Cameroon defeated Spain 5-3 in a penalty shootout after they had tied 2-2. It was the African nation’s first Olympic gold medal.
“Thankfully, we won the penalty shootout 5-3 to win the first ever Olympic gold medal in any sport for Cameroon. To have the privilege to be part of such a historic moment for my country at an early stage in my career was really special and something I will never forget,” Samuel said.
Defeating the top team of the time, Brazil, in the quarterfinals while playing extra time with just nine players, is a memory that stands out for Eto’o. “In the second half of extra time, Modeste M’bami scored the winning goal that sent us through to the next round and kept our dream of creating history alive.
“I will always remember the moment when Modeste scored. We all began to run after him to celebrate. While eight or nine of us all chased after him, the Brazilians put the ball back in the centre circle, believing the match would continue. But the game was over and we had qualified with the golden goal. To win an Olympic gold medal was really special and is something I will always treasure.”
The football tournament at the Olympics would always remain special to Samuel, having won the tournament with Cameroon in 2000.
When asked if he would be following the football tournament at the Tokyo Olympics, Samuel replied, “The Olympics has helped create many stars of the future so I will of course be watching in the hope that we see some exciting young players make a name for themselves. I am looking forward to seeing Ivory Coast, South Africa and Egypt, who will be representing Africa. Hopefully they can perform well and do their countries proud at the tournament.”