The Cameroonian was present at the Visit Mallorca Estadi as the work of art was revealed ahead of the islanders’ match against FC Barcelona.
Representatives of the two clubs and of LaLiga accompanied Eto’o at the unveiling of the mural, which is seven metres wide and almost 10 metres high and which pays tribute to the retired forward who is now a LaLiga Ambassador.
An image of Samuel Eto’o has been immortalised at the Visit Mallorca Estadi, where RCD Mallorca have created a large mural of one of the most significant icons in the club’s history. The Cameroonian was present at the ground for a ceremony held before the recent LaLiga Santander match between RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona, two of his former clubs, to inaugurate the work of art, which was created by local Mallorcan artist René Mäkelä. As well as the former player, directors from RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona were in attendance too, as were representatives from LaLiga, including LaLiga Ambassador Aritz Aduriz, who also played for the island club during his career.
The mural is seven metres wide and almost 10 metres tall and it has two images of Eto’o, one on top of the other. These portraits represent the strength, energy and excitement that the Cameroon international always brought during his matches wearing the RCD Mallorca shirt between 2000 and 2004. After taking in the piece for the first time, the 40-year-old expressed his emotions and said: “It’s incredible to return home and to see this. This brings back nice memories and it seems like I was here just yesterday. RCD Mallorca truly gave me everything and made me who I am.”
Eto’o, who is also a LaLiga Ambassador and who was recently named the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, continued: “I have always loved RCD Mallorca and everybody knows that. I also love Barça, but RCD Mallorca are ahead of all the other clubs in the world.”
During the event, Eto’o was accompanied by current RCD Mallorca president Andy Kohlberg and the retired striker had some kind words for the American, stating: “I congratulate the president Andy Kohlberg and thank him for giving me this opportunity to see that I am still part of this lovely family. I wish him all the luck in the world. We can all see that the club is growing and that the sky is the limit.”
Kohlberg spoke as well and expressed his delight at being able to bring such an important work of art to the stadium and at the club legend being present for the ceremony. The president said: “Samuel Eto’o is an icon of our club. I’m very happy and proud to present this artwork of him. It’s a great honour that he is here with us. This René Mäkelä mural is an idea that we had a few months ago and now we’re here. It’s marvellous.”
Alfonso Díaz, the CEO of Business at RCD Mallorca, also spoke and praised the skill of the local artist. He said: “We are very proud that René Mäkelä has collaborated with us for this piece. We believe that, with this mural, he has managed to represent the importance Samuel Eto’o holds at RCD Mallorca.”
René Mäkelä was another of those to speak during the inauguration ceremony. He has painted other famous sportspeople and personalities over the years, but this is the biggest work to be recognised internationally. On this, he said: “This work is a gift from all Mallorquinistas to one of the most important icons in the history of the club. It was a difficult challenge, given its size and given the weather, but I think the mural reflects the feelings we wanted it to show.”