Credit: mustapha_ennaimi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Eto’o

Ex Professional Footballer,


The most effective gesture against racism in the spanish football league (2006)

Who is he and what does he do?

He was called up for the senior national team of Cameroon at the early age of fifteen.

In his prime, Eto’o was regarded by pundits as one of the best strikers in the world and he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, winning the African Player of the Year a record four times in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010.

He played for Real Madrid, FC Barcellona, Inter Milan, Chelsea London, Anzhi Makhachkala, Antalyaspor and Qatar SC.

His personal experience with discrimination and exclusion

Without a shadow of a doubt, his greatest season of splendour corresponds to his years at FC Barcelona, where he experienced several discriminatory episodes. The colour of his skin cost him more than an upheaval.

In 2005, racial insults were hurled at him in Getafe and the club from Madrid was fined 3,000 Euros. The referee Daudén Ibáñez wrote it in his report book: “While player number 9 from FC Barcelona, Samuel Eto’o, was challenging for the ball, some supporters made sounds mimicking monkeys.”

History was repeating itself once again because he had been treated identically in the same stadium the previous. On that occasion there was no fine because the ref Pino Zamorano did not include it in the match summary record.

How he got rid of it

It is difficult to find a world figure so heavily marked by racism as Samuel Eto’o. His threat to leave La Romareda supposed a before and an after in the battle against this social blight in Spain; José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s government took the problem seriously and passed the Law 19/2007 against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport.

Up to that point, he had not been the first one to have endured the “monkey” shouting, a red alert warning which reverberated around the Spanish grandstands. Nonetheless, Eto’o himself was the only one to stand up to it and give a courageous ultimatum, he took a stand: either they stopped or he would not play on.

Those images were seen worldwide and produced a whole host of reactions which emitted solidarity with the Cameroonian striker: “I really liked his teammates and the ref’s reaction when they encouraged Eto’o to play on. Samuel has shown he’s tougher than circumstances,” his manager Frank Rijkaard commented.

The team captain Carles Puyol also spoke out about what had happened: “I can’t understand these things still happen. That can’t go on happening.” His fraternal teammate Ronaldinho explained the moment of maximum tension in detail: “I tried to calm Samuel down and told him that in football there are more beautiful things than racial abuse. He’s greater than all those who jeer at him. Real Zaragoza was fined 9,000 Euros because they were repeat offenders.

His inspiration for you

“We cannot hide the fact that racism exists in our society and we must battle it, taking initiatives and educating our children. It is the duty of us all. We have to struggle and not hide because otherwise, you are doing them justice.

There are certain people who think they are superior just because they are white. It is a wrong way of thinking. That is exactly what has to lead us to go on fighting.

If one person comitts a mistake, everybody is convicted; football is only a reflection of what we encounter every day in our society“


Other Diverseros who may interest you 😉