• Premier League

Eto'o reveals 'tense' Mourinho past

ESPN staff
September 13, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Samuel Eto'o won the treble under Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan © Getty Images
Enlarge

Samuel Eto'o has admitted that his relationship with Jose Mourinho was once "tense", but insists he is pleased to have been persuaded by his new boss to join Chelsea.

Eto'o has been criticised for comments he made earlier in his career, suggesting he would "rather sell groundnuts" in his village than play for a "pathetic team like Chelsea", while Mourinho was in charge.

The 32-year-old has revealed he was referring to playing under a Mourinho-led side, not Chelsea, and has moved swiftly to repair tensions between the two.

"I was talking about Jose - not about Chelsea," he said. "Before meeting at Inter, we didn't know each other personally, so our relationship was tense. I even said one time that I'd never play for a club where Jose was coach.

Multi-taskers

Swing and a miss: Michael Jordan turns out for the Chicago White Sox © AP
  • Top Tens: From Michael Jordan to Ian Botham, ESPN takes a look back at the greatest multi-sport athletes in history.
  • Click here to read more

"But God knows best. He wanted to show me that I was wrong and today Jose is a friend. Now he's my coach again. It's a real pleasure to team up with him once more and join a great team. Jose has a real clear idea. He talks straight and it's really important in this business. He's sincere and straightforward.

"When it comes to Jose, I can't pick out only one quality because he's as good on the pitch as off it and this is rare for a manager. He's one of the best. He got in touch. I realised there was an opportunity at Chelsea - and things moved very fast."

Eto'o was also questioned on the motivation behind his move to big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and vehemently denied he is focused on money, instead stating his ambition to become successful at Chelsea.

"Does a rich man get tired of being rich? All I've ever wanted is to be No. 1," he added. "And to be the best, I must want to win and work really hard. I want it badly. The day when I stop being hungry for winning will be the end of my career.

"When I went to Anzhi, people said it was because of the money. But it wasn't - it was for the challenge. Now I'm back, people are asking me if I'm still at the peak of my career. The challenge at Anzhi was to bring a team from the bottom to the top, and that's what I did.

"At Chelsea, I will play with proven and established players again. It's a revamped team but with the same skill and fighting spirit that Chelsea are famous for."

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Feeds Feeds: ESPN staff

ESPN staff Close