Former Brazilian international Roberto Carlos has revealed about the negative impact Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o had in the Anzhi dressing room.
The reunion between Jose Mourinho and Samuel Eto’o could turn out to be crucial this season for Chelsea, but former Anzhi team director Roberto Carlos might have warned the London club about the Cameroonian striker, who once forced him to consider quitting the Russian club.
Roberto Carlos was the man who sanctioned the arrival of Eto’o at the club from Inter Milan, and made him the highest paid footballer in the world. But Anzhi’s owners had put most of their star players up for sale this summer, along with the 32-year-old. Chelsea, who were in the market for a another striker, were determined to land Wayne Rooney from Manchester United initially. But after United managed to retain the England international, Jose Mourinho turned his attention towards Eto’o, who eventually joined the Blues by taking a huge pay-cut on his previous wages.
Roberto Carlos, who is now the Sporting director of Turkish club Sivasspor, has now revealed in an interview how Eto’o intervened with his and the manager’s work during his stay at the club.
‘I’ve known Eto’o since I was 16, and from that time on he’s always been a good guy who I’ve liked a lot.
‘He’s a good person, but there a part of him that thinks ‘I, and not the group’, which is really damaging.
‘When a footballer, instead of playing, is interested in signing players who are his friends… it’s confusing and strange.
‘He did everything at Anzhi, except play football.
‘I came to the club and in my first year we finished in the top five.
‘We managed to professionalise the team. In the second year, we signed Eto’o and I had control of the team – I organised the players and worked with the coach. I put Anzhi among the best.
‘With the arrival of Eto’o, with the values of everyone involved, I had some little problems in the dressing room and had to talk to the Russian players and explain why Eto’o was there.
‘However, a moment arrived when Eto’o thought to interfere with my work, to control the club, taking my position and that of Guus [Hiddink, the coach].
‘We talked about one thing, and then he went to the players and talked about another. That stressed me out and I warned that I would pack my bags and go.
‘No one believed me because I had a four-year contract. But then I called Anzhi and came to an agreement.’ – The former Real Madrid star said.
But it seems unlikely that Eto’o will have a similar influence at Chelsea with someone like Jose Mourinho, who has a reputation of handling these incidents very well, in charge – even Iker Casillas would concur. Eto’o is expected to make his debut in Chelsea’s upcoming match against Everton. If he can reproduce anything close to the performances he provided for Mourinho at Inter, Chelsea will might just become the favourites for the title.