The 9th of May 2014 marks the 2nd anniversary of the ‘annual Samuel Eto’o day” in the Russian federation of Dagestan, this translates to ‘illik Samuel gün Eto’o’ in Azerbaijani which isn’t the most spoken language of the region.
For those of you that haven’t followed the career of the incendiary Cameroonian Eto’o played in the capital of Dagestan for a previously unheard of team. Anzhi Makachlala. They were formed in 1991 by malcontent Falconers who had been victims of the Soviet Union blanket ban on gauntlets and had made steady but unremarkable progress through the league structure. In 2011 Suleyman Kerimov became the owner of the club in the kind of shady and thievish deal that saw the Glazers snatch control of Manchester United. Then manager Sergei Cuttlepop had been involved in a simmering row with the clubs owners about a pedigree brown bear they had been training. Sergei believed that he was allowed to drink the warm blood of any sinners the bear had clubbed to death but the owners disagreed. Unable to settle this dispute amicably Kerimov waded in and tied them all to a car before dousing it with Gazprom branded petrol and torching the lot.
Kerimov had amassed an estimated personal fortune of around $17bn and the very second he took over the club he agreed the first of a raft of sub-prime profile signings for fees that would have proved Alex Ferguson’s ‘no value’ theory to be correct.In the summer of 2011 Kerimov signed Samuel Eto’o for the knock down fee of €23.7m and the Cameroonian unburdened by the milk of human kindness went about his daily business of upsetting managers and players alike with relish. The players actually lived and trained in Moscow due to the danger posed by separatist rebels and the lack of functional facilities, a problem also faced by Liverpool Football club in England, and as such the Dagestan people struggled to relate to their new heroes. Until one fateful day in May 2012.
After their game against Moscow Wednesday, local rivals of Torpedo, the crowd were beginning to disperse back to their cardboard boxes for an evening of fighting severe frostbite and repelling radicals when a scream for help pierced the night sky.”Damekhmarot” or “Help me!” in georgian was the cry and as the 300 strong crowd of match-goers craned their necks for a sight of the orator they were stunned to see a Georgian Golden Eagle swooping off towards the mountains with a tousle haired toddler in its claws.The childs mother and father were actually mildly relieved to see their continually hungry offspring being snatched away and were counting their rubles to see if they could now afford a couple of peroni’s in the Makachkala stadium bar when Eto’o sprung into action. The wiry striker jumped into the teams apache helicopter and despite having not the slightest clue about the controls of the flying machine he somehow managed to grapple the beast into his control and give chase to the thieving eagle. What seemed like hours passed while these two battled along the dramatic Dagestan skyline and just as the eagle appeared to have won Eto’o found the arms button and deployed a heat seeking dirty missile that struck the winged monster squarely in the beak. The pyrotechnics were breathtaking and as the eagle fell from the sky the boy was flung headlong into the blades of the Apache showering the watching crowds with blood and sinew.
The fact that the boy had died was not ignored but Eto’o had achieved the one thing that the Chernobyl disaster had failed to do, he had united a community. The parents were treated to a Peroni each by Kerimov who later destroyed the helicopter and his arsenal of reprocessed urnanium tipped missiles, most of the radioactive material ending up in meat bound for the Tbilisi supermarket chains.The people of Makachkala feasted on the dead eagle for a week and once the excitement had subdued they built a statue of Eto’o out of wattle and daub, bound together by Semen. When the diminutive striker was forced to leave after the re budgeting of Anzhi the people vowed never to forget the brave and genuine actions taken and they vowed to celebrate ‘illik Samuel gün Eto’o’ every year until their homemade vodka fermented from Yak faeces finally addled their delicate minds.