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Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 11:37 UK

Eto'o sets La Liga record

By Phil Minshull
BBC Sport, Spain

Barcelona striker, Samuel Eto'o
Eto'o could be on the move this summer from Barcelona

It hasn't been the best of seasons for Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o.

But the Indomitable Lion can at least content himself with establishing himself as the African player with the most La Liga games to his name.

Eto'o spent 70 minutes on the pitch in Barca's 6-0 demolition of Valencia yesterday.

Although he didn't add to his tally of 14 goals this season, he notched up his 242nd appearance in the Spanish first division.

He takes the 'record' from his compatriot Thomas N'kono, who wore the gloves for Barcelona's neighbours Espanyol in 241 games between 1982 and 1989.

Eto'o has played 106 games for the Catalan club since arriving at Barcelona in the summer of 2004.

In addition, he played three times for Real Madrid at the start of his career before moving to Real Mallorca for five seasons and 133 matches.

The question now is, how many more La Liga games will Eto'o play?

Barcelona have three fixtures remaining this season, including a trip to bitter rivals and Spanish champions Real Madrid on Wednesday.

But Eto'o himself will be suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card against Valencia.

There have been strong rumours in recent months that Eto'o may move during the summer, with Italy's Serie A or the English Premiership being the most likely destinations.

I have a contract here until 2010 and I think I'm going to see it out

Barcelona striker, Samuel Eto'o

However, Eto'o has been at pains to dismiss speculation about his departure.

"I want to carry on here next season. I have a contract here until 2010 and I think I'm going to see it out," said Eto'o last week.

"When you look at all the players we've got, I think we can go on to win further titles.

"I believe in this team. This season hasn't been either so good or so bad but I wouldn't use the word 'fiasco' that has appeared in the media."

Despite not winning anything with Barcelona this season, Eto'o has still achieved a stunning array of honours with his various clubs.

He won Champions League winners' medals in 2000 and 2006, with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively although he didn't play in the final when he was at his former club.

The three-time Caf African Player of the Year was part of the Barcelona teams that won the Spanish league title in 2005 and 2006.

He was also the Spanish first division's leading scorer in 2006, becoming the first African player to achieve such an accolade, and won the 2003 Spanish Cup while at Mallorca.


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