Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Eto'o: "I live to be happy"

Barcelona player Samuel Eto'o gave an interview to Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

After the Madrid game, you said: "If I fall, I stand up again" and "The best is yet to come".
Those are mottos that keep me going and that I try to transmit to those who are close to me. I'm 27 years old and I've had my problems in life, but life has also teached me to always look back and learn from the mistakes. I raise my head, although it hurts a lot sometimes, and I say to myself that I can achieve it. I live to be happy, whatever happens.

Success can disappear quickly. Rijkaard is an example of that. It seems he hasn't done anything.
No, that's not true. From our point of view, looking at how well the team is doing today, this is partly because of his work. Let's hope Pep will be here forever, but if he leaves one day, his successor will also take advantage of Pep's work. You should almost name a street after him if you see what Frank has achieved here. Barcelona has won two Champions Leagues and he won one of those... Two leagues, two super cups. The team hadn't won anything for five years. I hope this team will do the same. There has to be a lot of respect for Frank, he did great things for the club. If it was up to me, I'd name a street after him so this will not be forgotten and always remembered.

"I raise my head, although it hurts a lot sometimes". Is that what happened during the pre-season?
When I'm saying that, I'm not really refering to football issues. Football is my hobby. It's what I like most, but only behind my children and my wife. Football is something that goes by. I love the game and I live 2000 per cent for it. But I can deal with what comes. Whatever happens, it's a game. You have to be able to win and to loose, because if not, how can you be a great champion? I only dreamt about being a football player. Now they consider me to be a great player and the truth is that I never expected this.

A few months ago, you said that you didn't hold anything against anybody after you had to leave the club last summer. It's really that easy to deal with it?
When I got injured for the second time last season, I was disappointed. Even more because the team wasn't playing well. I decided not to recover on my own because I wanted to be with the others, so we could form a united group. And this summer, when the whole thing started, I knew that hard work was the key. I knew I would be there. I saw it as a natural thing. When I returned, I showed that I was still the player that Barça signed. Since the summer I have tried to be at my best level and my physical condition has permitted this because I didn't feel any more pain in my knee or anywhere else. It's easy to get injured, but recovering is something else. But I'm here, fighting and playing at the top.

What did you feel when the club decided to let you go?
In every big club, there's no time to wait. They have to build their squads. I was the first to recognize that I wasn't at my best level over the past two years, and if I can recognize this, the club has to look for others. I think it was a normal thing. Time wasn't in my favour and the club had to make a decision. Some people are immediately liked, but with others, like myself, you need time to get to know them. Sometimes people tell me that I give an antipathetic impression, but my problem is that since I was twelve I've had a lot of unpleasant surprises.

But are you resentful?
No, why would I hold anything against someone if God can call me tomorrow. I'm here on earth to enjoy and to be happy and I only ask to see my children turn eighteen years old and see that they can make their own decisions.

What about the critics...
They motivate me. I don't read them, but I always have someone who tells me what is being written. A journalist has an opinion but he's not someone from the world of footbal. He's a news professional, so I can't criticize him because I don't know a lot about his job. You have to understand that we all have our preferences. I try to give my best for Barça to play well. If along the riad I have hurt someone, I apologize for that.

Your six-years old son is very critical with you?
We're very close. For him, Messi, Xavi and I have always played fantastic. I'm his father, his idol, everything he says sounds nice.... He has a littel character though... He tells me everything what's on his mind. He resembles his father. It's great to experience something like that. He's hansom, intelligent, clever, passionate about football. The thing is that he has another idol who is pilot and from the other team (Formula 1 driver and Real Madrid fan Fernando Alonso). But Fernando has always acted very correct towards us.

This was the first part of this interview. You will be able to read the other parts on this blog in the coming days, with Eto'o talking -among other things- about his renewal and about Africa.

Read more:
Barcelona wants to renew Eto'o
Henry: "I'm a bit of a loner beause of my youth"
Eto'o confused by Madrid reactions


Anonymous said...

I really admire him. I'd like to watch him playing in Barca shirt until he decides to retire. One of the best New Year's presents for Barca fans would be his renewal.

Anonymous said...

Thank's god, Jesus, Budha, Mohamed, Moses and all the others that the lion from Camerun is still with us.

I went completly crazy all the summer when Pep wanted to sell him.
I was very worried.

He is one of the best in the world in his position.

Thank's, thank's, and again thank's!

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