Barcelona needs to show respect to Eto´o
Speculations are rapidly increasing about a possible deal to bring in Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona with Eto´o being used as an exchange commodity plus some cash. Yesterday, the Barcelona based El Mundo Deportivo published an article claiming a deal has been reached between Barcelona and Inter Milan that would send the Eto’o, Cameroonian striker plus 10 million Euros, packing for Milan in favour of Ibrahimovic.
For five years now Eto´o has been consistent in Barcelona’s scoring over 100 goals and becoming one of the most prolific goal scorers of all time for the Barcelona club. He has basically won two Champion Leagues for Barcelona, scoring in each final. Yet, Eto´o has hardly enjoyed the respect he deserves from the club. The public disgrace he sustained at the start of last season from new appointed Manager Pep Guardiola is a case in point. Even during the season, Pep Guardiola has demonstrated displeasure in Eto’o through his actions, despite never publicly acknowledging his wanting Eto´o off of his club. He has more or less treated Eto´o as a peripheral star in the club compared to the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, and so forth.
Juan Laporta, who brought Eto´o to Barcelona despite hesitation from then Manager Frank Rijkard, has expressed his willingness to see the striker stay, but needs to do more to show the player that his services are needed, as well as to compensate him for his contributions to the club. His unwillingness to negotiate in to improving the player’s salary as a condition for the renewal of his contract is enough to show the lack of respect for the striker.
Quick are some to attach the desire to sell Eto´o to the fact that he just has a year left on his contract, and the possibility of him becoming a free agent next year. That is an easy way out in regards to explaining such a complex situation. No willing team would fail to renegotiate the contract of one of its key players, nor would they allow that contract to narrow down to a year before its expiration. Barcelona unwittingly put its energy and focus last year on declaring Eto´o as irrelevant in their plans for the future.
With increase competition in La Liga next season following Real Madrid´s signing of Kaka and Ronaldo. In order for Barcelona to repeat as champions they will need the services of its very best, and possible one or two more new players, especially at the defence line. Pep Guardiola should show more humility and give Samuel Eto´o the respect he needs. After all, arguably Barcelona´s triple this year is still very much accredited to the foundations left by former manager Frank Rijkard. His ability will be tested this season and next as he tries to stamp his signature on the squad.