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Eto’o to Inter?!?!

Despite Eto's years of service, he is on his way out of Barcelona

Despite scoring a multitude of important goals, Eto'o is on his way out of Barcelona

Everyday in High School, I would come in early to discuss football with my friend Ron. On a particularly slow day in the footballing world, Ron declared “There is no loyalty in soccer!” A statement that was quickly becoming fact rather than opinion. However, I was in an argumentative mood, and back in 2003 there was still a glimmer of hope, that for a select few in the soccer profession the word loyalty meant more than serving the highest bidder. Carlos Tevez had pledged himself to Boca Juniors, Wayne Rooney was still playing for his childhood club, Everton, and Joaquin was rejecting offers from Madrid to stay with Betis. So I decided to press the issue . “Are you serious!” I scoffed while gesturing wildly(Probably in a subconscious attempt to compensate for the fact that in reality, I completely agreed with Ron and felt ridiculous defending such an obviously absurd position) Somehow, I managed to appear the victor in our little debate, but in my head I knew who was correct.

Fast forward to today’s soccer landscape and Ron’s statement would be looked at as a truism. A given that only the most stubborn and unaware of fans would dare challenge. Despite the acceptance of such a climate on the part of most fans(myself included), owners, and players, football has somehow managed to disgust even the most cynical of fans with Barcelona’s impending transfer of Samuel Eto’o.

Eto’os departure from the Camp Nou is nauseating even when compared to the most controversial of transfers because it lacks even the most selfish of motivations. When Figo left Barcelona for Real Madrid, he did it for a bigger payday. Rooney dropped Everton for a chance to win the Champion’s and Premier League Crowns. Ronaldo came to Milan only years after playing for their fiercest rival, Internazionale, and did so only to resuscitate a dying career. However, as Barca prepare to ship Eto’o and close to 60 million Euros in exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they are doing so for very little in return, relatively speaking.

In the past five years, Eto’o has scored over a hundred goals for Barcelona in La Liga. More importantly Eto’o is a big time player. In the past season he scored against four of the top five teams in La Liga, including the game winning goal against Real Madrid, Barcelona’s biggest threat to the title. Eto’o improved upon his impressive tally this season with the decisive strike in the Champion’s League Final against Manchester United, helping make Barcelona the first treble winning side in Spanish football history. In exchange for throwing Eto’o out the door, Barcelona will receive Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a talented player, but more importantly, a notorious big game choke. A prime example of Ibrahimovic’s inability to perform on the grand stage came against the very same side that Eto’o managed to score against in the final, Manchester United. He was blanked by Manchester United over two legs, a period of 180 minutes, in the round of 16 in the Champion’s League. He failed to even register a shot on target in those two games. In fact, Ibrahimovic managed only one goal in seven games in the Champion’s League. Those quick to defend Barcelona will certainly site Samuel’s behavioral problems, but Zlatan is not without his own (See here). More troubling than the lack of motive for the transfer is Barcelona’s willingness to admit it. In a recent interview, Pep Guardiola said that Eto’os departure is the sole result of a “feeling”! A player of Eto’s caliber and output can only feel disrespected by such comments.

So while the whole world expresses outrage, and rightly so, over Real Madrid’s exuberant spending in times of economic crisis. Lets not forget that it is this type of mistreatment that presents the biggest blemish on the “not so” beautiful game.

Do you feel Barcelona has mistreated Eto’o?(trends)

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    May 7, 2010 at 4:40 am

    this is a very big mistake and sami we prove

  2. zibra

    August 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I predict to be a competetive season between Madrid and Barcelona. But, I think Barcelona might lack a little bit of bytes that Eto’o used to do. I love the team Barcelona players except the Management which is Laporta and the Couch stuffs. I think from Madrid Kaka will shine as he is discipline player. I don’t like Madrid but Kaka is a cool person. Over all, the best player from Madrid that I predict and think will be Ruben, if he is not injured.

  3. Bosco

    August 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’m not hapay wit da fact that Eto’,o has left Barcelona but still let’s think bout da other player’s yes he’s one of my fav player and yes he has broken a record.but coul he had done it wit out the other player’s?barca is still a outstanding team so let’s not think bout ho he did last season,let’s think bout wat he’s gonna do dis season and ho barca is gonna do wit da new player’s they bought.

    • james

      August 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

      i agree wit u bosco let’s think bout how dis season is gonna go for barca and samuel eto’o

  4. el toro

    August 10, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Spanish football is rife with racism. Disgusting.

  5. zibra

    July 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Hey, guys may be Laporta and guardiola has been on crack this summer after winning treble, instead of taking vacation. But Eto’s departure is a stupidity of Barcelona’s management that the fans shoul ask a question for the couch. If you think he is one of the reason for the treble champion then why you feel it is time for Eto to leave. It is unheard of and Barcelona could loose a lots of fans around the world. Eto was one of the three dynamic attacker when Ronaldinho was in Barcelona and he still was with Messi and Thiery. But now Barcelona will play and attack but will not byte. Eto does byte.

  6. wilson matip

    July 27, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Mike yre great your comment ; yoiu know it is simply jealousy and inferioty complexe disturbing guardiola seeing a black breaking all the recods in new camp.

    the secret society he belongs did not accept ETO,O and ETO,O is going with his glory that was covering barca he wiil do well anywhere

  7. Cressent

    July 25, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    To wllmhll! Dude think abt it! They aren’t making any profit by selling eto’o now!!!!!! They are giving him away and adding another 45 millions! So it definitely has nothing to do with what you said! They are still giving him away for free! Selling eto’o is just unbelievable! What are they thinking? Morinho is probably dancing of joy somewhere in Milan damn it! You just don’t get rid of a player who proved himself throughout 5 seasons! With 12 goals in a season where he was absent for 6 months! That’s just crazy

  8. wllmhll

    July 25, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    no way this is about race. barcelona just dont want to extend etoo’s contract so the next best thing is to sell him now rather than losing him on a free transfer next season.

  9. Eddie

    July 25, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I agree with Lenoir. They want him on the team… but not too much? Not enough to be in the record books because of his race?? It’s absolutely shameful.


  10. Lenoir

    July 25, 2009 at 5:27 am

    I thinks the real problem is that if eto’o remain in barca this saison, he will enter all the record books of barcelona. and people like chruff who are managing barca, will not like to see their record be betting and by an african. Note that eto’o was about to become the top scorer of barca, and many other record was about to be beaten by eto’o. It is really shame full.

  11. Mario

    July 25, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Also saying eto’o is consistant it has been several times reported that eto is a tap in scorer and usually fails at one on ones with goalies while zlatan creates plays and can score one on one and also eto usually chokes on penalties makingg 1 outta three he too I think it was . Idk about villa because I don’t watch him play but zlatan is the best striker nuff said

  12. Mario

    July 25, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Ok well you posted before I did but I agree with Edgar and I mean he missed by an inch twice not icy lol sorry my iPhone corrected it for some reason

  13. Mario

    July 25, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I agree with the last post how was zlatan supposed to score with such an akward formation and also how are you goingg to say he didn’t hit the targert once wen he hit the post -_- and he missed by like an icy like twic I call it more bad luck . But still he may have more support offense wise in Barcelona so I am lookingg forward to next season .

  14. Michail Adzhiashvili

    July 25, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Jerome – I hadn’t thought of race as a factor. However, it is tough to argue for racism in this case because as Barca USA alluded to, Barcelona have a lot of black players. However, race has possibly factored into transfers before. Remember how quickly and easily Madrid let Makélélé go?

    edgaraurelius – Yes I was unfortunate enough to witness both encounters. And while Inter’s tactics were very negative, they were not much different from the system they employ through out the season. Ibrahimovic remained stagnant for the entire contest. He made no runs, did not hold the ball up, and was virtually invisible for the entire duration of the match.
    The Manchester United game was only one example. Ibra is constantly choking in big matches. This past season he failed to find the back of the net against Milan and Juve as well. Ibra doesn’t only vanish from a goal scoring perspective. He has prolonged spells of inactivity where it appears as if he has just zoned out of the match. Eto’o and other top notch strikers, like David Villa, manage to be constant threats for a majority of the match. I’m not saying Zlatan is poor by any stretch just not on the level of guys like Eto’o and Villa. Speaking of VIlla, he managed to do pretty well for himself under Quique Sánchez Flores’ ultra defensive system…

    Mr.Mathis – I assure you that all those I discuss football with help shape my views. This was just a particular instance. Your opinion is always considered and greatly appreciated. I think that although Rivaldo an Ronaldo were great at Barcelona, they were only there for a year or two. Eto’o has been a fixture in the team for five years now, and could have rewritten the team’s record books.

  15. edgaraurelius

    July 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    “He was blanked by Manchester United over two legs, a period of 180 minutes, in the round of 16 in the Champion’s League. He failed to even register a shot on target in those two games.”

    You’re an idiot, Michail. No, this isn’t an opinion, this is a fact. Did you even watch those two games? I fully expect that you didn’t or else you’d know why Ibrahimovic didn’t come up with anything in those two games, its the same reason Didier Drogba was large ineffective in the first leg of the CL semi-final against Barcelona. You can’t do much as a striker when your team is boxing in their defensive third of the field playing with an 8-1-1 formation.

  16. Polii

    July 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Barça could be making a tactical mistake here. The “total domination football” that has been the trademark of Barça for the last five seasons is a very unnatural style of play. This has been tactically possible because of Eto’o role in posing a lethal goal threat to defences and putting pressure upfront forcing teams to remain in their backyard. Strikers like Larson, Gudjohnsen or Henry have not been able to fulfill this tactical role when Eto’o has been out injured, the reason why Barça’s performance tended to drop. The question for Barça now, is whether Ibrahimovic will play such a role. Else, the performance of the playmakers like Messi, Iniesta and Xavi will fall as they will tend to have less creative space.

  17. MaMaDooDoo

    July 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Hey Michail, this Ron that you speak of, is it thee Rippin’ Ron Fofan Golan, the master of the three man weave on defense. If so, this article is simply amazing…

    • funw benait

      September 2, 2009 at 6:35 am

      etoo has started doing his job the way morinho wants because etoo will creat another no matter the wrongful transfer

  18. Eric Mathis

    July 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Mike, first let me congratulate you on a well written first article. Exciting stuff. Second, allow me to display my disappointment in not being mentioned in your first La Liga article since our discussion of futbol occurs everyday. Thirdly, to add insult to injury you incorporate RON?! Nevertheless, I agree that Barca is stark raving mad to get rid of a striker like Eto’o. The man scores goal after goal for them, and I believe is continually overlooked in their side. Barca has their Spanish heroes in Puyol, as well as past famous strikers in THE Ronaldo and Rivaldo etc…therefore I believe it becomes easy to overlook the work of Eto’o. Yes he is anything from clinical from a finishing standpoint, but the fact is, he scores goals, creates chances for others, and can go at it alone as well. I think Ibra is quite the physical specimen with gobs of talent, but who needs to be THE MAN on a team. I do not think he will fit in well with the likes of Messi, Henry, Iniesta, Xavi, etc…because he is not a team player, nor does he step up in big games. It’s a shame there aren’t more relationships like Gerrard and Liverpool, Raul and Madrid, names who are synonymous with their respective clubs. A relationship where both parties understand and appreciate what the other brings to the table. Yes Eto’o is moody, yes he may waste a chance here and there, but he was a driving force for Barca, and for Barca to pay what they did, ON TOP of Eto’o is a shame. Inter surely come away winners in this transaction. Ibra is worth 45 million Euros by himself, not a penny more. Tacking on Eto’o is an insult to Eto’o and his contributions and foolish on the part of FC Barcelona.

  19. Barca USA

    July 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Henry is BLACK (yes French), Alves is a Brazilain, Keita and Toure are BLACK , Kerrison is Brazilain, The MESSIAH is Argentine, Eric Abidal is BLACK, Marquez is MEXICAN (in Spain that is about as low as u can go), etc… Do you get my point? This isn’t about race. Could be a stupid move, or could not be a stupid move. There are many facets to this trade including: one year left on contract, Barca needing a bigger target, and Pep and Laporta smoking CRACK!!

  20. Jerome

    July 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    We did not believe when our friends told us. Now we know the reason ETO is pushed away is race. Barcelona will go down and mark my words. ETO was a hero for many of us who are BARCA fans. After we witnessed this we are switching clubs. For ETO next season would be another chmpionship cup.

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