MOSCOW. Cameroon might not be at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia but they are well represented by their former star Samuel Eto’o who has been grabbing fans’ attention in the Russian Capital.
It is a common sight to find a group of young ladies waiting outside the Intercontinental Moscow Hotel with their phones in selfie mode waiting for a photo opportunity with Eto’o who is always whisked away by his security detail the moment the hotel doors open.
But 21-year-old Anastasia who hails from the city of Ekaterinburg told SCORE outside the hotel which is also known as Bud Hotel, that she has been trying her luck for three days with no success but was determined to wait until she gets a selfie with the former Barcelona star.
Such sights are mind boggling to someone visiting Russia for the first time with all the reports that have surfaced in the past of how people of black skin are treated harshly in this part of the world.
Eto’o is not new to Russian fans having spent two seasons playing for Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian Premier League, but he had won so many hearts before his big money move to the Russian side from Inter Milan in 2011.
As the Russian fans jostled for selfie moments with the African football legend, a group of nine Ugandans looked on unbothered.
The Ugandans who were flown to Moscow by Nile Special on an all-expenses-paid trip and were staying at the same hotel as Eto’o.
It was therefore easy for them to get selfie moments because his security inside the hotel was always relaxed.
Actually this reporter was staying on the same floor with him and on two occasions shared the elevator with him and his crew.
For Paul Katuramu, meeting and taking a photo with Eto’o was a once-in- a-life time experience and one of the highlights of his five-day stay in Moscow.
“Where would I have found him? I only used to see him on TV and I just heard that he came to Uganda one time but I didn’t even see him. When I see people lining up to take selfies with him, I feel lucky, ” he said.
With language not permitting a conversation, Eto’o always smiled and took his position in pictures with the fans before proceeding to his room or outside the hotel.
The Ugandans also smiled ‘ear-to-ear’ as they left Russia with their most prized assets of Eto’o Kodak moments.