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12.08.2008 19:59

Eto'o to stay at Barça

Roger Bogunyà

Josep Guardiola has told a pre-match press conference that Samuel Eto'o will be staying at the club. “I have decided he can stay, because of his wishes and mine” he said.

Josep Guardiola has therefore put an end to all speculation regarding Eto'o. The Barça manager has changed his mind after originally saying, the day he took charge of the team, that the Cameroonian was surplus to requirements. Following an exemplary display in three weeks of preseason football, the Catalan manager had been convinced that Eto’o should stay on the club’s books.

Getting the best Eto'o back

On June 17, Guardiola did also say that if the African were to stay at the club, he would “give his life to get his form back.” Two months later, and Guardiola feels that Eto’o’s “talent” and “behaviour over the last three weeks” have convinced him that the striker does have a place at Barça. “I think we will get the best Eto'o back” he added.

No negotiations for two weeks

Josep Guardiola explained that “the negotiations (for a new forward) were put on hold for two weeks, on my orders and those of Txiki Begiristain, and we decided not to sign anybody until we had sold Eto'o”.

Eto’o past and present

Asked how the player fits into the team and whether he might get booed when he lines up against Wisla, Guardiola said it was only the Eto'o of the present that counts. “I don’t care about the past. There won’t be any whistles tomorrow. The people know how important the game is. I can only speak about what I have seen these last three weeks and I only have good things to say about him.”

Eto'o to stay at Barça

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All called upon
Josep Guardiola told the conference that all 18 of his first team players and the Barça Atlétic players that took part in the tour, with the exception of the injured Víctor Sánchez, have been called into action. On Tuesday night they all stayed at Hotel NH Constanza. On Wednesday they have their final training session at 10.30 am behind closed doors at the Camp Nou. Guardiola will have to strike five names off his list for the Champions League qualifier on Wednesday night.

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