Bubbly one aims for top goalscorer award in Ghana

Molefi Mika

Molefi Mika

The bubbly one, Samuel Eto'o, could not have found the right moment to return to football action than on the eve of another Africa Cup of Nations tournament as it will be the case in Ghana starting on January 20.

Eto'o was the 2006 leading goal- scorer of the tournament in Egypt with five strikes and will be there together with his Cameroonian teammates to once more torment defenders and goalkeepers alike.

He will only join Cameroon after January 12 as per request by Barcelona.

Eto'o has so far scored three times for Barca as he was off the field for months because of injury. On Saturday he scored his third league goal this season when they beat Real Mallorca in a away La Liga fixture.

But Eto'o has been not quite happy with Barcelona's performance lately, thus comments like:

"We need to win and score points, even if we play badly.

"We haven't always done things well. At times we are obsessed with passes and maintaining the ball."

Apart from Eto'o another goal poacher worth watching in the Afcon tournament will be Mali's Frédéric Kanouté.

The French-born striker, who plays for Sevilla FC in Spain, was one of the five joint leading goal- scorers in the 2004 tournament in Mali with four goals each.

The others were Patrick Henri M'boma Dem (Cameroon), Youssef Mokhtari (Morocco), Augustine Azuka, Austin "Jay Jay" Okocha (Nigeria) and Francileudo Dos Santos from Tunisia.

Past leading goalscorers:

2006 - Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon 5; Ahmed Hassan, Egypt; Francileudo dos Santos, Tunisia 4

2004 - Patrick Henri M'boma Dem, Cameroon 4; Frédéric Kanouté, Mali 4; Youssef Mokhtari, Morocco 4; Augustin Azuka "Jay Jay" Okocha, Nigeria 4; Francileudo Dos Santos, Tunisia 4

2002 - Patrick Henri M'boma Dem, Cameroon 3; René Salomon Olembe, Cameroon 3; Julius Aghahowa, Nigeria 3

2000 - Shaun Thurston Bartlett, South Africa 5

1998 - Hossam Hassan Egypt 7; Benedict McCarthy, South Africa 7

1996 - Kalusha Bwalya, Zambia 5

1994 - Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria 5

1992 - Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria 4

1990 - Djamel Menad, Algeria 4

1988 - Gamal Abdelhamid, Egypt 2; Lakhdar Belloumi, Algeria 2; Albert Roger Mooh Miller "Milla", Cameroon 2; Abdoulaye Traoré, Ivory Coast 2

1986 - Albert Roger Mooh Miller "Milla", Cameroon 4

1984 - Tahar Abou Zeid, Egypt 4

1982 - Georges Alhassan, Ghana 4

1980 - Khaled Al Abyad Labied, Morocco 3; Segun Odegbami, Nigeria 3

1978 - Philip Omondi, Uganda 3; Opoku Afriye, Ghana; Segun Odegbami, Nigeria 3

1976 - Keita Aliou Mamadou "N'jo Léa", Guinea 4

1974 - Mulamba "Mutumbula" Ndaye, Zaire 9

1972 - Fantamady "Salif" Keita, Mali 5

1970 - Laurent Pokou, Ivory Coast 8

1968 - Laurent Pokou, Ivory Coast 6

1965 - Ben Acheampong, Ghana 3; Abbrei Osei Kofi, Ghana 3; Eustache Manglé, Ivory Coast 3

1963 Hassan Ahmed El Shazly, Egypt 6

1962 - Abdelfatah Badawi, Egypt 3; Menguistou Worku, Ethiopia 3

1959 - Mahmoud Al-Gohari, Egypt 3

1957 - Diab Mohammed Diab El-Attar, Egypt 5. - additional reporting by Sapa-AFP