Eto'o eyes goal record

2010-01-06 17:02
Samuel Eto'o (File)

Nairobi - Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o wants to break the individual goal record for a single African Nations Cup at this month's finals.

"I would like to take Cameroon as far as possible, to even win the tournament," the 29-year-old Inter Milan player told Reuters in an interview in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday.

"But my first objective will be to score the highest number of goals at a single Nations Cup," added the triple African Footballer of the Year.

Cameroon begin their Group D campaign against Gabon on Jan. 13. They take on Zambia four days later before meeting Tunisia on Jan. 21.

Eto'o, who will captain the Indomitable Lions in Angola and at the World Cup in South Africa in June, already holds the record as the highest overall scorer (16 goals) in the Nations Cup.

Congolese Mulamba Ndaye's nine goals for then-Zaire in Egypt in 1974 is the highest by a player at the finals.

Ivorian Laurent Pokou grabbed eight goals in Sudan in 1970 while Egyptian Hossam Hassan and South African Benni McCarthy netted seven in Burkina Faso in 1998.

Eto'o, who joined Inter from Barcelona in July in a swap with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, won the Golden Boot as top scorer for the second consecutive Nations Cup when he notched five goals in Ghana in 2008.

That year Cameroon lost to Egypt in the final. He also hit five goals in Egypt in 2006.

"Although we have a pretty good team (this year) all the teams are equal and have a chance of winning," said Eto'o who lifted the Nations Cup in 2000 and 2002.

"I don't want to make any predictions."

Eto'o, who missed Inter's Italian Serie A early kickoff against Chievo on Wednesday after Cameroon turned down the club's request to delay his Nations Cup departure, said European teams paid big wages and had a right to demand the services of their players.

However, he added the Nations Cup could not change dates to fit the seasons of European teams.

"Just as they play their European Cup of Nations every four years in the summer because it is convenient for them, the African Nations Cup must be played in January because it is convenient for us as there is less rain all over the continent," said Eto'o.

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