Samuel Eto'o may have found a new home in the Premier League by signing for Everton, as reported by the BBC, but the striker announced on Wednesday that his international career with Cameroon is over.
He made the news official through his Twitter account:
I inform you that I am ending my international career... Thank you to all Africa, and to all my fans for your unconditional support.SEF— Samuel Eto'o (@setoo9) August 27, 2014
One of the greatest footballers Africa has ever seen, he last suited up for his country at the 2014 World Cup. While he's still an exceptional player, it became clear in Brazil the 33-year-old no longer possesses the deadly athleticism that once made him the most feared striker on the planet.
Eto'o built a wonderful career that saw him play for a number of top clubs around the world, including Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea.
His production took a dip during the 2013-14 season with the Blues, and in order to lengthen his career as a footballer, taking the decision to retire from international competition is an understandable one.
While Cameroon have a lot of talent, the squad doesn't appear to be ready to challenge for glory and silverware on the highest stage. The Africa Cup of Nations also falls in the middle of the Premier League season, and at his age, his form for the Toffees could suffer tremendously after such a grueling tournament.
Bleacher Report's Ed Dove showed his admiration for the legendary forward, linking to an article of his in which he called Eto'o the "greatest African player of all time:"
As shared by the BBC's John Bennett, his career with the national squad was a productive one:
The international career of Samuel Eto'o was a non stop roller coaster: 56 goals, Olympic Gold, 2 Afcon titles & many fall-outs... #Cameroon— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) August 27, 2014
While African football will no doubt miss one of its biggest names, the continent has relied too heavily on aging stars like Eto'o and Didier Drogba to carry the sport in their respective nations.
It's up to the youngsters to continue their tradition of excellence, and without the mercurial Eto'o around to score the goals for Cameroon, new players will have to step up into the spotlight.