BARCELONA. — African football legend, Samuel Eto’o, has been hauled to court by his son for not paying maintenance.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Eto’o’s 18-year-old son, Etienne, has dragged the former Cameroon international to court for an amount of about €20 000 (about US$23 725) which he claims is owed to him for food and compensation for his schooling.
It is alleged Etienne, who is also a footballer and is contracted to Real Oviedo’s youth teams, told the court he has not heard from his father in years.
He claims to recover the funds he, and his family, had to spend as a result of the ex-Barca star’s alleged neglect.
This is the latest chapter in which the four-time African Footballer of the Year has been dragged to court by one of his children.
Just last year, he was ordered to pay €1 400 (US$1 660) a month to his daughter Erika after a bitter paternity lawsuit.
Erika’s mother, Adileusa do Rosario, 39, met him in the Spanish capital in 1997, when Eto’o was at Leganes on loan from Real Madrid.
According to reports, the former footballer was summoned by a Spanish court several times but did not show up.
Eto’o was ordered to pay €1,400 (£1,266) to the teen every month until his trial date, but it is unclear if he followed through with the payments.
In February this year, reports emerged that Eto’o was being threatened with jail by the mother of his child.
The Cameroonian legend was recognised as the biological father of 17-year-old Annie Eto’o Barranca following a paternity case in the city of Palma, Spain, in 2004.
Annie’s mother, an Italian woman named Anna Maria Barranca, claims she met Eto’o at a petrol station before their romance started at a nightclub in Palma, where she worked.
The pair are said to have been in a relationship for three months when Barranca saw the retired footballer with another woman and called things off.
Barranca spoke with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia about her relationship with Eto’o, claiming that after she told him she was pregnant, he offered to “help (her) with the abortion.’’
Eto’o is said not to have offered anything else.
In 2015, an Italian court ruled the former footballer had to give Barranca €10 000 (£8,417) per month in alimony payments.
Despite the court’s ruling in 2015, Eto’o has reportedly failed to make a single payment towards his child’s upbringing.
Annie studies Fashion Design and wants to go to Milan University to continue her education. The absence of alimony payments prompted Barranca to file a lawsuit requesting the former Real Madrid striker go to jail for his negligence.
The footballer retired after more than 20 years on the pitch.
Throughout his career he played for 11 teams and won 18 club and national team trophies, as well as numerous individual awards.
Eto’o is married to Georgette Eto’o, with who he shares three daughters, Sienna, Lynn and Maelle.
He is also father to footballer Etienne Eto’o.
Earlier this year, Eto’o posted an emotional birthday message to Ronaldinho, as the Brazilian football legend spent his 40th birthday, in a Paraguayan jail, amid the threats that he, too, was facing the possibility of being thrown into jail.
Ronaldinho was arrested in February this year, in Paraguay, after allegedly producing a false passport to enter the country.
Together at Barcelona, Etoó and Ronaldinho won two Champions League titles, four La Liga, one Copa del Rey and two Supercopa de Espana titles and formed a tight bond.
Ronaldinho, who during his playing days starred for Barcelona and AC Milan, clocked 40 on March 21 and Eto’o took to his Instagram page to wish his former teammate a happy birthday.
“Happy birthday my brother,” Eto’o said in the video.
“Hello brother, I have no words, brother. I don’t even know what to say, we are talking to see how we can encourage you,”
“You are my brother, my friend. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I can only ask you to have strength and to pray a lot.
“I hope that all this can be solved soon, because you were frankly a good person and a good friend. From here, the black loves you very much and you can count on me for everything you need.
“What I can do, I will do. And if I can’t do it, I’ll ask a friend for the favour.”
The Brazilian legend, one of the greatest footballers of his generation, has since returned home after being released from a lengthy time in a Paraguay jail. — Sport/uniland.co.uk