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Real Madrid must still be cursing themselves for allowing the prolific Cameroon striker to slip through their grasp.
Since leaving Madrid, Eto’o has become one of the best strikers in the world with eight teams in four countries.
He came through the youth ranks at the Bernabeu, but only appeared for the first team three times in three years as he was loaned out to Leganes, Espanyol and Real Mallorca.
In 2000 he made the move to Real Mallorca permanent and proceeded to score 69 goals in the next four years and help them win the Copa del Rey in 2003.
Real Madrid’s great rivals Barcelona lured him back to the Spanish mainland in 2004, where he enjoyed his best years, scoring a total of 129 goals and winning three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and another Copa del Rey.
In 2009 he moved to Italy to join Inter Milan and in just two seasons his 53 goals helped win a Serie A title, two Italian Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Eto’o moved to Russia for a new challenge with Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011 and though the goals continued to flow, it didn’t bring him any more trophies.
Last summer Eto’o arrived in England, the fourth country of his career to play under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.