In an interview with AFP, the former striker of Inter Milan and FC Barcelona said: "Western media dominate our media in Africa, so they have a certain influence. People prefer to watch Lionel Messi's goal, "Eto'o, 38, told AFP during a visit to Paris last month.
The former Barcelona player, former teammate of Messi, believes that "African players are not respected" and "not always appreciated at their fair value".
If George Weah, the former striker of Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, now president of Liberia, remains the only African player to win the Ballon d'Or in 1995, Eto'o does not regret never won the prize
"No, because I won so many trophies, I had so many dreams and for me it's the equivalent of winning the Ballon d'Or. But I have sympathy for my younger brothers who arrived after my generation. "
Eto'o also attacked the captains and coaches of 54 African national teams who left Senegalese Sadio Mane and Egyptian Mohamed Salah at the FIFA Best Award last September to vote for the other candidates.
"Why is there this hatred between us, Africans? Why this jealousy moved? If we do not appreciate each other, others will not do it for us, "said Eto'o.
" It's a shame. If all Africans had voted for other Africans, we would have won several best player awards. "
"Africa must show its strength. We are lucky to have these good players, who have scored more than ten goals in the Champions League – we had the top three scorers in the English league (Mane, Salah, Aubameyang) but these young people do not have our support Adds Eto'o.
"I want to accompany them as much as I can, defend them, protect them, because one day it will be their turn to pass the torch.
"That's what Africans still do not understand at all levels, and that's why we're still lagging behind. "