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17.08.2007 14:47

Eto'o: "I want to not go to Japan"

David Puig

Samuel Eto'o is in negotiations with the Cameroon national team in order to allow him not to play in the forthcoming friendly in Japan on August 22. The Barça striker is very close to full fitness and does not want another long trip.

Having worked hard throughout pre-season to ready for the first league game of the season, Eto'o is talking to the Cameroonian Football Federation to see if he can miss out on the trip to the Far East, where he has already been this summer. "I am trying to reach an agreement in order not to make this journey," he said. "I returned from the tour of Asia not long ago and I would not be happy if I had to go back so soon because of the problems of jet lag and fatigue. If in the end there is no agreement then I will go, I will play and when I come back I will be available to Frank Rijkaard is I am in the right condition."

Back to his best

Eto'o is happy with the way that things have gone in pre-season so far. He has shaken off any injury problems and is close to being back to his best. "Next month will be a year since I suffered my injury and I am improving all the time," he explained. "After a knee injury, it is difficult to return to your best, but I have had a good pre-season and am not far from being back to it now."

Searching for desire

The Cameroon striker is convinced that Barça will rediscover their best form too, that has seen them win the title twice and the champions League in recent seasons. "The other teams do not worry me, I only worry about my team," he continued. "If we have the same desire that was here when I joined the club then everything will be perfect. We have a great squad with some strong players in every position and not only in attack."

The League is a different story

Barça is one of the only Spanish top flight teams to have won all their pre-season games and are already being tipped to be favourites for the league title this season. Eto'o is wary of making any predictions, however: "The league is a different story," he said. "Until now we have played game in pre-season where the objective is to find out best form. We have done well up until now, but playing in the league is not the same. There is something extra there. The game against Racing Santander will be completely different."
Eto'o: “I want to not go to Japan“

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No fear of competition
Samuel Eto'o knows that competition in the Barça squad will be high this season and that he may have to start some games on the bench. That holds no fear for the Cameroon international. "I recognise that all players are egotistical and we always want to play," he said. "But we also know that the coach is always looking to do what is best for the team and he always tries to make the best decision. If some days I am on the bench then I will accept that. The worst thing would be if I was happy with that. What we all have to do is give everything we have in every game. Then the coach will be able to choose from a squad where everyone is 100 per cent ready and the level will never drop."

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