African players ‘not respected’ in Ballon d’Or vote, says Eto’o

Paris: African players still do not get the recognition they deserve, Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o has claimed, as he hopes that this will finally be the year another player from the continent wins the Ballon d’Or.

George Weah, the former Paris St-Germain and AC Milan striker who is now the president of Liberia, won the Ballon d’Or in 1995 but remains the only African player ever to have claimed the award. “Western media dominate our media in Africa, so they definitely have an influence. People prefer to see a Lionel Messi goal,” Eto’o, 38 said.

The former Barcelona star, once a teammate of Messi, believes that “African players are not respected” and are “not always properly appreciated”.

He recently hung up his boots after a glorious career in which he won the Uefa Champions League three times and the Africa Cup of Nations twice. He never won the prize for the world’s best player, although he insists he has no regrets. “However, I do feel for my younger brothers who came along after my generation,” he said.