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Why Samuel Eto’o is Regarded as a Hero Back Home

The man who once teamed with other greats such as Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho at Barcelona became famous for his play on the field, but here in Cameroon, he’s regarded for more than just his sporting prowess. Through the foundation that he started in 2006, Eto’o has also funded the development and training for many of Cameroon’s promising young footballers. The Samuel Eto’o Pavilion at the Lacquintinie Hospital, is a 48-bed children’s ward in Douala’s largest public hospital that was built and fully equipped by his foundation in 2017. Children and babies can get much needed emergency and specialty care. As is the case in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroonian children under five die at a rate almost double the world average, according to World Bank data. In addition to the hospital and training academy, Eto’s foundation has funded and created projects to support education, health, and community development, including orphanages, scholarships and road construction.