LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have won the Golden Ball award for the best footballer in the world.
Eto'o, 38, who represented many of Europe's top teams, led by Barcelona, said in a statement that the reason for not being crowned was not because they did not deserve the Golden Ball, but because of the lack of respect for the players, which Africans in general complain about.
"I hope my opinion is wrong. The fact is that we African players are not respected, and the next golden ball will not be won by Salah or Mani," Eto'o added bitterly.
Eto'o stressed that the stars of the continent suffered great injustice, pointing out that their lack of respect is caused by the systematic distortion of their reputation that comes from the Africans themselves.
Salah and Manny have been instrumental in winning the Champions League and European Super Cup this year, as well as finishing second in the Premier League.
Eto'o, one of the legends of African football, came in third place among the best stars of world football in the list of Golden Ball in 2005, won by Brazilian star Ronaldinho, who was leading the attack of Barcelona at the time.