Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o upset by ‘bitter’ Milla criticism

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Cameroon arguably represent Africa’s main hope of making an impact on the first World Cup to be held on the continent.

Other African nations have suffered injuries blows in recent days with Ghana’s Michael Essien and Nigeria’s Jon Obi Mikel withdrawing from their respective squads.

And Ivory Coast’s dangerous target man and Chelsea star Didier Drogba yesterday underwent an emergency operation on a broken arm to ensure his participation in the tournament.

Cameroon have thus far escaped the reach of the dreaded injury curse but Paul Le Geun’s side’s preparations have not been free from controversy.

Roger Milla, the former Cameroon striker, upset Samuel Eto’o when he publicly criticised the Inter Milan forward’s contribution to the national team.

Milla, 58, told AFP that Eto’o had “brought lots to Barcelona and Inter Milan but never anything to the Cameroon team”.

“It’s also a question of discipline. Cameroon is waiting for him to react,” Milla added.

The striker responded furiously, saying: “It is always before tournaments that bitter people wake up. What has he [Milla] done? He hasn’t won the World Cup.

“They played in a quarter-final [in 1990] and with what a team. They had one of the best teams with some great players throughout.

“And then you wonder, ‘are they my people?’. Are they really my people? Is it really worth going to the World Cup?,” he said on Canal Television.

For now, Cameroon’s record goal-scorer remains in the squad and should start against Japan on 14 June.

Le Guen, who took charge of Cameroon in 2009, has transformed the ailing Lions who were struggling under previous coach, Otto Pfister. The former Lyon coach reverted to a successful 4-3-3 formation while handing Eto’o the captaincy.

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