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Eto'o rules fourth year running

sports Updated: Dec 22, 2010 01:03 IST

Reuters
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A record fourth African Footballer of the Year award entitles Samuel Eto'o the right to claim to be the continent's best-ever player but it is a title that sits uncomfortably with the Cameroonian.

The 29-year-old crowned a year of unprecedented club success with the award, handed to him in Cairo on Monday as he finished ahead of perennial rival Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast and Ghana's Asamoah Gyan in the polling. The Cameroon captain has now achieved more honours and won more major medals than any other of the continent's players but is reluctant to accept he might be Africa's best ever.

"That would be impossible to say. To win the Footballer of the Year four times is to create a new record but I don't think it gives me the right to say I am the best," he told Reuters in Cairo after accepting his award.

"There were greats in previous generations who had different challenges and situations to me. You can't really compare the times. "Now there are youngsters who are climbing the ladder of success behind me and who are coming up really fast. Who is to say who is the best?" But there is a case to be made that Eto'o's achievements are unsurpassed by any of the other top footballers to emerge from Africa.