A year later Eto’o would be gone, snapped up by Barcelona for 24 million euros. From then on Eto’o would secure his legacy as one of the greatest footballers to ever have lived.
In his first season with the Catalan outfit he became the leagues joint top scorer as Barca claimed the title and the next year after would see him become the first player to win African footballer of the year 3 times in a row (2003/04/05).
By the time Guardiola replaced Rijkaard in 2008, Eto’o was so highly thought of at Barca that he was the only established attacking squad member who kept his place. It’s widely claimed that a group of senior players, including captain Carles Puyol, had pleaded with Guardiola to keep him.
Whatever ultimately led to the decision to keep Eto’o after Guardiola’s overhaul payed off immediately when he scored 30 league goals as a part of one footballs greatest ever front three’s alongside Messi and Henry. The opening goal of Barcelona’s two goal champions league final win vs Manchester United topped off a phenomenal year for Eto’o as the side completed an historic treble.
By the end of the 2009 season he scored 100 league goals in just 5 seasons at Barcelona.