Dublin: Web Summit – the world’s most influential technology event, according to Sky News – has announced the initial set of sports speakers for its first in-person event in two years, along with the winner of the 2021 Web Summit Innovation in Sport award: Samuel Eto’o. 

Samuel Eto’o will join the 1,000+ speakers, 1,250+ startups, 1,500 journalists and 700+ investors set to discuss technology, society and more across Web Summit’s stages in Lisbon’s Altice Arena from November 1-4, 2021.

Eto’o, a three-time Champions League winner and Olympic gold medalist, will be awarded the Web Summit Innovation in Sport award – “the international mark of excellence in the sports business community” – for his work on and off the pitch. The award, now in its fourth year, recognises sportspeople who have successfully incorporated technology in the pursuit of excellence. 

“It’s a great privilege for me to accept this award from Web Summit, honouring my career and my work over the past 15 years with the Samuel Eto’o Foundation. I’m passionate about serving my country, and hope to continue inspiring young people across Africa to pursue their dreams,” said Eto’o.

Operating primarily in West Africa, the Samuel Eto’o Foundation prioritises the protection of youth through the provision of emergency aid, education, healthcare, and social inclusion initiatives centred on sport. The foundation’s recent work includes the launch of the Yellow WhistleBlower FC initiative, which has provided support to refugee camps in Cameroon and Nigeria, assisting those displaced by Boko Haram.

Last year, the Web Summit Innovation in Sport award was presented by Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa to Portuguese football manager José Mourinho in recognition of his outstanding achievements in shaping football in this era. In 2019, Brazilian footballer Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima accepted the award in Lisbon, and the inaugural award was presented to football agent Jorge Mendes in 2018. 

Attendees at Web Summit 2021 will also get the chance to hear from football stars Peter Schmeichel, Iker Casillas, Cloé Lacasse, Gilberto Silva, Eric Dier, Louis Saha and Martin Braithwaite. They’ll be joined by former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, football managers André Villas Boas and Paulo Fonseca, and football journalist Fabrizio Romano. 

UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre, Patrick Mouratoglou (tennis coach to Serena Williams), and Manchester United CMO Catherine Newman will also appear on the SportsTrade track at Web Summit in November, with more names to be announced in the coming weeks. Portuguese Olympic champions Fernando Pimenta, Patrícia Mamona and Jorge Fonseca will also take to the stage, alongside Paralympic champions Miguel Monteiro and Norberto Mourão.

The increased popularity of Web Summit among sports stars shows how tech and sports have become intertwined in recent years, with many of the attendees coming to showcase their sport-related foundations and tech startups.

About Web Summit
Forbes says Web Summit is “the best tech conference on the planet”; Bloomberg calls it “Davos for geeks”; Politico, “the Olympics of tech”; the Guardian, “Glastonbury for geeks”. In the words of Sky News, Web Summit is “the world’s most influential tech event”, and the Telegraph calls it the “planet’s ‘best’ tech conference”. 

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