NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, Feb 25 – Samuel Eto’o’s 18-year old Son Etienne Pineda has been included in Cameroon’s squad for the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations currently on in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Though he watched both opening group matches from the bench, Etienne was handed a start in their final group match against Mozambique and showed up with a man of the match performance, scoring two goals and making one assist in their 4-1 victory.
Being the son of perhaps one of Africa’s most lethal goal scorers, Etienne has huge boots to fill.
Samuel is the most decorated African player of all time with four CAF African player of the year awards and has also won the Total Africa Cup of Nations twice with the Indomitable Lions.
The retired prolific striker also won an Olympic Gold Medal with Cameroon in the year 2000 and has also won the UEFA Champions League, Club World Cup, three La Liga titles with Barcelona, one Serie A title with Inter Milan among many other trophies.
It was only poetic that one of his sons would take after him and this would be the 18-year old Etienne.
“I think sometimes it is natural that your father influences what you want to be in future. It is just the same like for example when your father is a policeman, you might be interested in becoming a policeman too. My father has played a huge role in my life and influenced me to take football as a career,” Etienne tells CAF Online in Mauritania where he is part of the AFCON U20 squad.
He adds; “For me, it doesn’t feel strange and it is nothing special really. I just have to enjoy who my dad is but also keep working hard for myself.”
Etienne currently turns out for Spanish Second Tier side Real Oviedo. He came through the youth ranks at Real Mallorca, also in Spain where he was born.
While he is the son of a decorated father, there is always the pressure of matching up to expectation of people who want him to be as good as his father was. Just like his dad, Etienne is a striker and picked the number 10 jersey in Cameroon’s squad for the Under-20 AFCON.
“There is always pressure in life whether or not you are the son of a famous person. But for me, I just try to enjoy my career and demonstrate to people that I can do it,”
“My dad has played a huge influence in my life because I have always admired him and want to learn from him and continue in his steps. Always I want to be someone as him,”
“I want to try and be better than him and I am always looking forward to stepping on the pitch and giving my best. Even though I know it is difficult to be better than my father, I want to work hard to achieve like him. He is always there to support me and give me advice.”
–By CAF Online