Cameroon striker - Samuel Eto'o, from TIME Magazine
An idol in Africa, where he's thrice been Footballer of the Year. He's in his third Cup, and he's a big-gamer: he's scored in two of his three Champions League finals.
"Italy, the reigning world champion by dint of its victory in the 2006 World Cup, takes soccer deadly seriously. The nation abounds with legendary clubs owned by extravagantly rich magnates who have spent the last 50 years luring the world's finest players with offers they cannot refuse. So where is today's highest-paid player in Italy from? Not from Brazil or Argentina, the planet's most prolific footballing factories; nor from France, Germany or Spain. Neither, for that matter, is he Italian. The player with the highest salary in Italy is a Cameroonian called Samuel Eto'o, the spearhead of an African contingent that has taken Europe's soccer citadel by storm.
Unlike many in the money-mad soccer world, or in banking, Eto'o has earned every penny. Three times African player of the year, Eto'o goes into the first World Cup on African soil as captain, and uncrowned king, of Cameroon, armed with a statistic that he alone owns: Eto'o is the first player ever to have won the treble of National League, National Cup and European Champions League — soccer's royal flush — with two different teams. And he has done it (the odds have to be mightily long on this happening again anytime soon) in successive seasons, the first with Barcelona and the second, in May, with Inter Milan."