Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o was named best player of the FIFA Club World Cup after his Italian team, Inter Milan trounced TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 3-nil on Saturday to win the tournament.
Eto’o scored Inter’s second goal at the 17th minute of play via a powerful drive from the edge of the 18-yard area after he had provided an assist for Goran Pandev’s curtain raiser 13 minutes into the game.
It has been a stellar year for Eto’o and Inter Milan. The team have also won the European Champions League, the Italian League, Cup and Super-Cup and the Cameroonian has scored 19 times in 23 appearances for Inter since August.
“I want to write history with Inter,” Eto’o said on his arrival at Inter last year. “I won almost everything with Barça, I hope to do so also here.”
He has clearly kept to his word.
Cameroon’s dismal performances at both the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and the World Cup in South Africa have been the black spots in Eto’o’s 2010. On both occasions he finished as the Indomitable Lions’ best scorer but the overall team out-put was poor.
Maybe he had this in mind because he wasn’t overly excited during the presentation of his individual award (which includes a car) and the World Club Cup trophy to Inter. It could also be that he wanted to contain his joy as a sign of respect for the day’s opponents who were representing Africa, his home continent.
The Congolese team became the first African (and first non-European or South American) club to reach the final of this competition after they beat the representatives of North/Central America and South America in the quarter and sem-finals respectively.
TP Mazembe, that fielded Cameroon-born Narcisse Ekanga, crumbled under the weight of Inter’s experience and quality.
Ekanga, who played as a holding midfielder, displayed strong physical strength, doing his utmost to contain his compatriot (Eto’o) but he was also guilty of attempting rather dangerous tackles and was booked in the first half.
He would also need to rein-in his temper if he expects to progress at an international level. He was seen constantly protesting against the referee’s decisions and had to be called to order by Mazembe’s Senegalese coach Lamine Ndiaye.