The preliminary qualification to the World Cup 2018 is set to see a number of top African teams come up against some lesser-known rivals, but former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o says that the gap between the top and bottom teams has reduced significantly in recent years.
Teams like Algeria have been able to become successful in the Africa Cup of Nations in recent years. They have been able to cause an upset by beating the likes of Ivory Coast along the way. Cameroon were once one of the biggest teams in African football, but they have been reduced to the stature of being minnows due to the constant infighting.
Eto’o is the goal scoring legend for the national team, but he has retired from international duty since 2014. His absence will be a major blow for the national team. Despite his absence, the 34-year-old striker is confident that Cameroon will be able to do well in the upcoming qualification group. The national team will go straight into the second qualification round due to their significantly better stature. They will face winners of the first-round qualification.Eto’o is an extremely successful player at the level of a World Cup competition. He has featured in four tournaments from 1998 to 2004.
“The gap between the strongest teams and the less-fancied ones has closed a lot. In fact, there’s hardly a gap to speak of anymore.I remember going into matches ten or 15 years ago thinking: ‘There’s such a big difference between us that we’re bound to win’. But these days you’re thinking: ‘This team is going to make life hard for us’, which is great for Africa as a whole. I’ve got my three favourites: Cameroon, obviously. They’re the love of my life. I wish all the teams luck, though,” said Eto’o.