This Eto’o business really stinks

2009-07-28 00:00

SO Zlatan Ibrahimovich is apparently twice the player Samuel Eto’o is? Quite which form of reasoning Pep Guardiola used to come up with that conclusion, I will never know.

Statistics show that the Cameroon hitman is the best striker in Europe over the past five years, banging in league goals for fun.

And he has scored in two Champions League finals, which Barca went on to win.

That is hallowed ground that Ibrahimovich has not even smelt, content with being a flat-track bully in Italy. Yes he is one of the most skilful big men out there, but why all the fuss?

It would not be stretching a point to say that Eto’o is worth at least £40 million, in today’s market anyway. So the fact that Barca are also willing to stump up an extra £40 million on top of that makes “Ibra” the world’s most expensive player.

Sort of …

That is just ridiculous.

Rumours are abound that the real reason behind selling Eto’o is because of his troublesome nature in the change room. Well, considering he scored 35 goals while still being a nuisance, he seems to be doing alright.

The other reason being bandied about is that Eto’o is being greedy. He wanted parity with Barca’s top earners — a fair point considering his vast contribution to the cause — but the powers that be deemed him not deserving.

Again I struggle to understand that logic.

The one thing that made Barcelona such a terror was the unique talents of their front three. Thierry Henry, lithe-like and capable of remarkable goals, Messi the dazzler and the creator of havoc.

And then Eto’o, the ultimate goal poacher. And they all did their jobs expertly. “Ibra” strikes me as being very similar to Henry, in that he is smart, suave and blessed with wonderful control, but he certainly does not possess the deadly instincts of the Cameroonian.

Time will tell, but I for one think that Eto’o will continue to thrive and stick up another two-finger salute at a former employer.

This is the same man who was snubbed by Real Madrid in his youth, and how he has made them pay over the years.

I cannot see the logic in letting him go, or replacing him with “Ibra”. For the Swede is known for his lack of modesty, too.

And to make it worse, he has a curious habit of disappearing in the really big games.

Where was he against Manchester United in the Champions League? Has he been spotted wreaking havoc in a Euro Championships? I gather not, yet Eto’o, who has won just about everything bar a World Cup with Cameroon and Barcelona, has been auctioned off to any Arab, mogul or Milan manager within earshot.

But that’s football, eh.

But would you rather have £40 million plus a proven goal poacher, or an entertainer not averse to becoming a passenger when it matters most?

I think I know which I would prefer.

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