Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o says it’s a shame that Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany opted to play for Belgium instead of DR Congo.
Kompany was born in Brussels but previously qualified to play for Congo through his father.
And Eto’o - who is a proud Cameroonian, having scored 55 goals in 112 appearances for the national team - feels that African football needs more talismanic leaders in the mould of his friend Kompany.
"Vincent is a natural leader. [He] is one of the best defenders in the world [and I] wish him to play a good World Cup and [that] he will be spared from injury,” Eto’o told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
”I would have liked to see him wearing the jersey of an African country. Africa needs leaders like him.”
Kompany has established his reputation as one of the world’s best centre-backs since joining Manchester City from Hamburg in 2008, and will attempt to lead Belgium to the latter stages of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil this summer.
Two other Premier League stars, Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke and Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku, were also eligible to play for Congo - but Eto’o appreciates why they too opted to represent Belgium.
He added: “[It’s] bad for us Africans, and our beautiful continent, because they are great players. But I understand their choice.”