Samuel Eto’o feels that African players do not get the respect they deserve.
The former Cameroon international, who last week officially called time on his playing career, voiced his disappointment at the exclusion of both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah from the final shortlist of both the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and FIFA The Best Men’s Player of the year.
The trio of Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk, Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi were the final three nominees left standing for both accolades and Eto’o fears that the same trend will follow when the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or is announced.
Mane and Salah shared the English Premier League golden boot award with fellow African Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season, while both played a crucial role in leading the Reds to Uefa Champions League glory.
“We are not respected, it’s a fact. I hope I’m wrong, but the next Ballon d’Or will be neither Mané nor Salah,” Eto’o told RFI.
“There is no explanation that Mané, Salah or Aubameyang, the top three scorers of the Premier League last season may not even be among the top 5.”
“Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both very strong, but this season who won the Champions League? It’s Mané and Salah,” he concluded.