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25.09.2008 14:20

Eto’o picks Paris goal as favourite

Jordi Clos

The Cameroonian believes that the goal he scored in the Champions League final was the most special of the 100 he has scored for Barça. And despite his individual performances, he believes it is what the team achieves as a whole that really matters.

Satisfied with making it to a century of goals against Betis, Samuel Eto’o was the star of the midday press conference at the Camp Nou. Proud of his achievement, he said “that means I have played a lot of games for this club. I hope I don’t just score 100 .” Asked which goal was the most important, he didn’t have to stop and think for a second. “The equaliser in the game in Paris, because it brought us back into the game and we ended up winning it. That was very important.”

Top concentration

QM3D7600.jpgBut his 100th goal came in a game in which Barça suffered more than they probably should have in the second half. Eto’o describes affairs thus: “We played very well in the first half. I don’t why our performance dropped in the second, perhaps we thought the job had been done, but we have to keep going until the referee blows the final whistle.” But he didn’t think the Betis comeback was the result of Barça failing to live up to their duties. “He who has played least has played seventy games in the first division. We have to remember that the opposition are playing too.”

The same old Eto’o

The striker claimed to be feeling as fit as ever, but did point out that “I can’t take off 2 or 3 years, I am the Eto’o of the present. I am just as enthusiastic as ever.” Asked about being substituted against Betis, he praised the group spirit “I am a player like anyone else, I wasn’t surprised. It’s no problem, the coach does what’s best, and the three changes led to the third goal.”

Still learning

250908rp_etoo_x2x.jpgOne of Pep Guardiola’s main elements of strategy is putting pressure on the opposition, and Samuel Eto’o, as the centre forward, is one of the players who carries the greatest responsibility in that department. “I’m happy” he said. “Not just because of the pressure, but because I’m learning things. We are working very well tactically and I hope to keep improving.” On the subject of the goals Barça conceded, he explained that “the defence involves the whole team, starting with me. We are letting in a lot of goals and we have to get better. We are working on correcting that.”

And now Espanyol

Next up for Barça is Saturday’s derby. “I see it as being difficult, like any game before it starts. It is a game like any other, I hope we win and that it is a great occasion … I have only ever scored once against Kameni. He is on great form, but if we want to win, we have to beat him.”
Eto’o picks Paris goal as favourite
Behind closed doors
After the game with Betis, the first team returned to training behind closed doors, starting at 11.30 at La Masia. Abidal, Cáceres, Márquez, Abidal, Xavi, Keita, Messi, Eto’o, Víctor Sánchez and Touré all did specific individual work.

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