Pretoria: Superstar striker Samuel Eto`o
said that Cameroon becoming the first team eliminated from the
first World Cup in Africa is the greatest disappointment of
his legendary career.
Eto`o opened the scoring in the 10th minute but it was
not enough to deny Denmark a 2-1 Group E victory yesterday
that sealed the African side`s elimination after an opening
loss to Japan.
"I think so," said the Inter Milan star, when asked if
this was his greatest disappointment. "All my season was
focused to be ready for this World Cup. It`s the only thing I
could think about."
That was a season that included a second consecutive
Champions League crown, this one for Inter after helping
Barcelona to the 2009 crown, and was to be topped by an
African-record sixth trip to the World Cup by Cameroon.
Instead, the South Africa trip has brought only heartache
for the not-so Indomitable Lions, who reached the 1990
quarter-finals in the best run by any African nation at the
"It`s hard. It`s not normal for us to finish last," Eto`o
said. "But there will be other days. They played better than
us in the match. It`s that simple."
Cameroon captain Eto`o, a three-time African Player of
the Year who made his World Cup debut in 1998 at age 17, still
hopes to rally the Lions for a solid showing against the Dutch
in their final match at Cape Town on Thursday.
"I want to finish with dignity in the last game," Eto`o
said. "That is very important."
Asked who was to blame for Cameroon`s horror showing,
coach Paul Le Guen took full responsibility.
"Me. Only me," he said. "The team was glad to be here.
They wanted to finish better. We hoped to play to our
potential more than we showed."
Le Guen, who coached Lyon to three French titles, said he
had no regrets even with the poor results.
But Le Guen admits he will have regrets over the World
Cup losses, especially after three line-up changes failed to
prove enough to grab Cameroon a victory.
"I will have regrets for tonight because we weren`t
clinical. I will have regret because we lost to Japan without
playing well," he said.
"I have regrets from both games but for different
reasons. The match we played tonight, we weren`t far away. We
were very close but we didn`t make it. It`s a big
disappointment. We didn`t finish off our chances."
As a result, the Lions are truly finished for this World
Cup title hunt.
"I`m very sad for the Cameroon people," Le Guen said. "We
can look at the time I took over to now -- we`re out but we
got to the World Cup. I worked for the good of the team. It