23, October 2019
Cameroon prospect Etienne Eto’o Pineda has explained why he will reject the advances of Spain despite being snubbed from the U17 World Cup squad.
The son of four-time African Footballer of the Year, Samuel, was omitted from the final squad that kicks off in Brazil this week due to a decree signed by the Cameroon President Paul Biya in September 2014.
It was agreed that the national U15 and U17 teams would be reserved for domestic-based talent only, which saw Eto’o and five European-based teammates in the camp sent back to their respective clubs.
While the Real Mallorca U17 captain failed to be included in Thomas Libiih’s final squad, he still made his intentions clear about where he international allegiance lies, in an interview with Kick442.
“I decided to come and represent the Under 17 Lions of Cameroon, I can’t lie to you Spain is also my country but Cameroon I really feel Cameroonian,” Eto’o said.
“My father achieved a lot with Cameroon and I will like to emulate or try to match his achievements with my country Cameroon.
“Yes, it is very difficult to handle this situation [being omitted] but I am very excited to be back with the U20, U23 and why not the senior team one day if God wants.
“The qualifiers of the U20 AFCON is the next possible event for me, I am very excited to play for Cameroon, though Spain is my country, for now, Cameroon is my choice.”
His father Samuel won two Africa Cup of Nations titles and is the all-time leading scorer with 56 goals 118 caps for the Indomitable Lions.