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Retired footballer Samuel Eto’o has been declared as the biological father of a 22-year-old woman in Madrid.
The former striker has never acknowledged that he was the father of Erika Do Rosario Nieves and he did not attend the court proceedings in Madrid.
Court number 83 in Madrid reached the verdict on Thursday to conclude a legal process that was commenced by the woman’s mother in 2018.
The young woman’s mother Adileusa is said to have met Eto’o at a nightclub in Madrid in 1997 – when the Cameroonian was playing for Leganes, who were based near the Spanish capital.
Eto’o spent the 1997/98 season on loan at Leganes from Real Madrid – netting four goals in 30 appearances – before briefly breaking into the first-team squad of Los Blancos.
As a result of the relationship that developed, the lawsuit stated, as per Spanish press agency EFE, that the woman discovered that she had become pregnant.
The lawsuit added that Eto’o “told her that he would act responsibly with respect to the common child, although he preferred that she did not give birth to the child.”
The case continued: “during the pregnancy she tried to communicate with the future father (Eto’o), but he did not answer her phone calls or reply to her emails.”
Eto’o is alleged to have broke off all communication with the mother, who gave birth to Erika in the Alarcon Foundation hospital in Madrid in 1999.
By that stage, Eto’o was playing in Catalonia for La Liga club Espanyol – whom he had joined on a loan deal from Real Madrid.
The mother began the lawsuit in 2018 by providing biological evidence that supported her testimony that Erika was the daughter of the former striker.
Eto’o is said not to have engaged with the court at any point during proceedings and was not present during the decision.
The court ruled that Eto’o now must pay allowance to the young woman totalling €1,400 per month and dated back to the moment that the lawsuit was filed.
Eto’o went on to have a hugely successful football career and is widely recognised as one of the greatest African footballers of all time.
He scored 70 goals across four seasons at Real Mallorca before starring at Barcelona between 2004 and 2009 – netting 130 goals in 199 appearances, winning two Champions League titles in the process.