Friday, 3 July 2009

Eto'o should be allowed to choose his own ending

by: Marcos

As the transfer silly season is boosted by Madrid and their Monopoly money, the Barcelona rumour-mill is currently dominated by the 'will he, won't he' saga of Samuel Eto'o.

Presently there seem to be three paths open to him. Firstly, it is common knowledge that Manchester City have made a bid of around €25-30m, along with, to quote Laporta, a 'stratospheric' offer to the player himself. His second option is a belated contract renewal offer from Barcelona, a token gesture if ever there was one. The third, and possibly most likely option is for him to see out the remaining twelve months of his contract and leave for free next summer.

Barcelona appear to be pushing Eto'o out of the door and some fans seem equally happy to see him go, the most repeated reason being that it would be disastrous if he left for nothing. There's a palpable clamour among the Barca faithful to sign the Valencia forward David Villa and seemingly little appreciation for the contribution of Eto'o over the last five years. There is no doubting the pedigree of Villa of course, but the readiness of Barcelona to jettison such an integral part of their recent, phenomenal success is surprising to say the least.

The norm is for successful clubs to try everything to hold on to their key players, as United did with Ronaldo, Milan with Kaka and Bayern (so far to the greatest success) with Ribery, and herein lies the problem. Barcelona don't seem to regard him as a key player, a source of discontent for the man himself over several years. Those accolades fall to the likes of Messi, Iniesta and previously, Ronaldinho.

When you consider the success achieved during the Cameroonian's time with the club, it is easy to empathise with those feelings. His five year tenure has seen the club capture three La Liga titles, two Champions league trophies, two Supercopa's and a Copa del Rey. Samuel's contribution to that haul is a staggering 130 goals in 200 games, including a crucial strike in each Champions league final, equalling Raul as the only player to have scored in two Champions league finals and raising Eto'o to joint third on Barcelona's list of all-time scorers.

His goal in this years final against Manchester United proved that he is not just a poacher either; many of his goals have been self-made and his ability to beat his man and shoot from distance have made him one of Europe's most coveted hitmen. His unselfishness on the field means he creates chances for others and he is willing to play from the flanks, as he did in Rome, so as to allow Messi to come into the middle. Allied to this is a prodigious work rate that is crucial to Pep Guardiola's exigent style of play.

Of course this is not to say that David Villa, or another replacement, wouldn't perform equally well given the chance. Barcelona's attacking play and the mercurial creative talents of Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, Henry and Alves means that whoever occupies that role is guaranteed opportunities. But goal scoring feats such as Eto'o has produced at the highest level and biggest of games are rare to say the least. The most the club could possibly hope for from his replacement would be to equal the Africans return. Even this would mean an outlay of between €40-60m and require the new player to settle into the team and area immediately. He would need to understand Barcelona's footballing philosophy and patterns of play instantly, and to show the necessary willing and energy to press and harry opposing defenders.

The other stick used to beat Eto'o are reports of him being 'problematic', and 'difficult' off the field. These problems appear to be verbal though, limited to bouts of sulking and the odd negative comment. By all accounts he is punctual, professional, dedicated and one of the best trainers in the squad. If he is difficult, it doesn't translate to either his or the teams performance's on the pitch, and there were few signs of unrest in the wonderful spirit and determination shown by Barcelona in last year's epic campaign. Indeed, if his troublesome nature off the pitch yields an historic treble, other European giants may be falling over themselves to sign every talented misfit they can find.

The truth is, if Samuel Eto'o were to stay at Barcelona for another twelve months it would not constitute a disaster. He is a known quantity, a striker who sweats for the cause and bleeds goals. His hunger to win the Pichichi each year would guarantee he gives his all and a wiser move for the club may be to buy a younger, cheaper understudy who can learn from Eto'o and cover whilst he fulfils his international duties.

Alternatively, would it be so bad to see Eto'o and Villa competing for that central striking role this coming season? Come next summer when his contract expires Barcelona would still have the opportunity to re-sign him, if desired. If not, it means he cost the club €24m and gave six years extraordinary service. He should be able to walk off into the sunset with the club and fans blessing.

There is an old saying that advocates 'better the devil you know'. Who would bet against Samuel Eto'o scoring the winning goal in the Copa del Rey final, or better still, in the Bernabeu next may?


pep said...

One of the blog followers, Marcos, has sent in this article. Many thanks to him for this first contribution!

Anonymous said...

Eto'o leaving for free would be an absolute disaster. I'll write a full response soon but it would be the worst outcome from various perspectives, from sporting, to financial, as well as image and fan response.

Kxevin said...

Permit me to disagree. If you look at how Krkic has progressed and the relationship that he and Henry have, it's clear who is mentoring the young striker.

Eto'o's strengths are already known, and enumerated in the article. But I just cannot agree with allowing him to, in effect, say "screw you" to the club that made him a star, and the fans who supported him, by leaving on a free.

Some say that the 20-30m that the club stands to lose has been more than compensated by the work of Eto'o as regards his efforts at winning trophies, etc.

But again, I disagree. And he isn't a particularly marketable player, because fans don't really like him. I've been to many a match at the Camp Nou, and I have never seen an Eto'o shirt being worn by a fan. Tons of Messi shirts, even some Ronaldinho shirts (still). But no Eto'o.

The situation is a mess. He can make it better for all parties by moving on. We get some money, he gets to go somewhere that allows him to be the man, and we can go about building a front line for the future.

If he stays, does anyone really think that the edge necessary to truly excel is going to be there?

Should he be allowed to choose his own conclusion? It appears that he is anyhow, by demonstrating ridiculous intransigence. Yes, both sides have bollixed up the process. Which doesn't mean that he has the right to harm the club fiscally by leaving on a free.

barca4life said...

Marcos while the article is good you say etoo's problems appear to be limited to bouts sulking and the odd negative comment. This is not quite true. There was the whole refusing to come on as a substitute issue, as well as the saying that ronaldinho got special treatment in the media that essentially derailed our 2006/2007 season. The getting sent from training by guardiola this season and several other incidents such as the allegation that he "took off his agent's shoes" a sign that he intended to kill him in cameroon according to reports and a host of other problems with etoo in the dressing room are not bouts of sulking and the odd negative comment.

I do however agree that after all etoo has done i have been very disappointed with the way that the board have treated him. They talk about renewing valdes messi marquez puyol and iniesta and dont even mention etoo.

His agents latest attack on Laporta (rightly or wrongly) has left me feeling that he is no longer worth the trouble. Two major operations on both his legs in 2 years and his worrying lack of form towards the end of last season 1 goal in 8 games or so have left me not feeling sorry to see the back of etoo.

If he stays it wont be bad and honestly my heart hurts me to see him go this way. But on the other hand when i see the way his agent behaved i'm not so sure i want etoo at this club anymore.

fcbee said...

Why alwasy look at the bad side, b4l? Without his goals at the start of the season, we never would have gotten in pole-position. At the end, the race was over, then people aren't focused anymore.

Remember also the pre-season when he was left out and didn't start games (totally humiliating but he kept quiet the whole season), the team (henry and Bojan) missed a lot of chances, everyone was compalining and he in the end was our pre-season goalscorer.

And to Kxevin: I think Barcelona said "screw you" to him first. Is that a way a club should treat a key player of the most succesfull five years of the club?

fcbee said...

Oh yeah, almost forgot: great article, Marcos!

NouBarca said...

well, Eto has the last say. He can decide to go now, decide to renew or decide to get hi spound of flesh. why is he in the driving seat? That says so much about the "genius board" that cannot put a foot wrong. Whatever he decides is gonna be "kool". We gave him the keys to the car now hes driving

barca4life said...

hahahhahahaha. Couldnt agree more nou. The "genius board" handed etoo the keys now he's driving. fcbee, i dont always look on the negative side, i was all for etoo staying until that press conference. Too much drama.

The beauty of last season was the lack of drama, now that etoo feels he has earned the right to say what he wants again and we need him more than he needs us it could be 2007 all over again. And nothing i said in my contribution was not true. Those things are all true.

Why if etoo got the offer from the board that he was asking for didnt he go to a meeting say all of those things that he said at the meeting to laporta and then sign the contract? Why did he have to go to the media and create the feeling that barca are a club in turmoil?

groga said...

I don't feel it as Eto'o says "screw you" to me as a fan, Kxevin.

Like fcbee says, I rather feel like he says "screw you" to the board after they wanted to kick him out and offered him to anyone they could reach while the president said at the same time that he thought it was the best striker in the world and that he hopes he could retire at the club.

In this case, the board has let the club and its values down.

barca4life said...

Honestly at age 29 he just isnt worth the trouble anymore. At least not worth a 4 year contract at this stage so we can have 4 more years of issues. I would caution against selling etoo to man utd or inter. We dont want him doing to us what he did to madrid.

Anonymous said...

You'd rather Eto'o screw over Barcelona than get a big fat contract at Man City? You're such a great fan!

Players get sold all the time, get over it. This 'disrespect' garbage is being bandied about too readily. There's no such thing.

refter said...

He's 28, barca4life. And just had his best season ever. Physically, he's taking very well care of himself. Henry got a 4-year deal when he was 29, by the way.

A coach should be able to manage all that. As long as his team-mates want him there and he keeps performing, I don't see the problem. I would say three years with an option for a fourth one based upon performances. And then he can get his well-deserved retirement in Mallorca...

groga said...

Can a man choose his own destiny, please? It's not up to the employer to say one year before the end of a contract where the employee should go to, would you like that your employer told you where you have to go and work? Would you go you Manchester City and not play European competition while you still have the motivation and skills to perform at the top level?

LeónDragón said...

for me, whatever said, i agree with this, as you brought it, also my thaughts too, nice to the point.
etoo deserves respect, no matter what people are thinking bout him.

"Eto'o should be allowed to choose his own ending"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NouBarca said...

We shouldnt really care where he goes.. hes "not wanted" anymore, why care where he goes? Let him go to Inter or ManU.
Anywayz, like I said Eto has the car keys and can drive it to any destination. I wish he would join another top club. Just to see him bag the goals..
I think he was just made the scapegoat during the 06-06 "crisis" as R10 and Deco & co were too big to be accused. R10 declared himslef unfit, yet the club doctors felt otherwise, why wouldnt Eto clear his name in Public?

Anonymous said...

If Eto'o is so fantastic why are no clubs willing to give into his wage demands and transfer fee other than Man City?

If he feels like he wants to stay with Barcelona and compete at the highest levels then why won't he sign the 7.5 million extension? Forget 'disrespect', money talks. If Barcelona are willing to tie themselves to his drama for 7.5 million for 2 more years that screams volumes about how much a player is wanted. He's using the 'disrespect' card to get a bigger pay day next year when he can get clubs to pay a big bonus instead of the transfer fee.

refter said...

If he would only play the money card, he would already have accepted the City offer... He just wants to play at a top team.

And I gladly want to tie myself to his drama if that drama means more trophies.

Anurag said...

marcos, i would have agreed with you if this article would have been published before mesalles' stge drama. i can only assume you have written it before this happened, because after that, i dont think etoo has a place in our hearts or our club anymore

LeónDragón Phantom said...

it's really disappointing how some here comment, as they could not know what's really going on.
to send him away like an old dog after so many years seems not very gentle, as the whole thing was from the beginning not handled very professional by both sides.
we as fans, should at least, respect the players who done so much for our club, as we're so or so not involved in any financial and politically decisions.
but to read some comments here, are shameful and should better kept back of respect, as many of you were surely celebrating with him when he scored his goal against manu.
R.I.P. loyalty

refter said...

I think people shouldn't refer to "the fans", as if all think the same. How can he not have a place in a Barça fan's live after all what he has done for this club, i would ask. He'll have one in my heart forever, I guess. I'm sure taht, as those things go, with time going by, he'll be valued at his real worth.

NouBarca said...

So, going by your "barca-board-like-knowledge", Eto is not Fantastic. Why would you keep aguy who is not fantastic in your team for 5 years and play him every match? That speaks volume about you and the "genius board" HILARIOUS and "DISRESPECTFUL"

NouBarca said...

Barca dont have a place in so many hearts. U know that. I mean ex players. We part with some of our heroes in funny ways. Lets learn how to handle delicate cases. its should be part of being "more than just a club". Dont question my Love for BARCA, all I am saying is I am not a "blind follower"

Anonymous said...


Sorry, you guys are the ones who shouldn't be calling yourselves fans. You're buying a bunch of agent bologna without looking at it objectively.

Selling Eto'o doesn't show disrespect, it doesn't show a lack of loyalty. Eto'o wasn't working for free. If we didn't buy Eto'o for 24 million and pay him 7.5 million a year would he be bagging goals in Champion's League finals? How's that for loyalty? If he's so willing to stay with us why is holding the club hostage and not signing the contract extension he's been offered?

The football club is a BUSINESS, if it wasn't everyone would be playing for their favorite clubs for FREE. Just because we don't want to let Eto'o screw the club out of 25 million euros doesn't mean we don't appreciate what he's done for us. You have to get that through your head. The Eto'o apologists' #1 argument is to call the other side 'not real fans' or 'disrespectful' or 'unappreciative'.

People appreciate Eto'o plenty, but decisions have to be made. Have a real, objective argument if you think Eto'o's decisions have more validity.

They're all business decisions. Players who want to play for big clubs are doing it because it gets them more exposure, and bigger contracts. Top players want to win Champion's Leagues because it makes them stars, gives them fame, more commercial value. Yaya Toure didn't sign for Barcelona for a smaller contract because he 'loves' or 'respects' Barcelona. He signed here as an opportunity to burst through and command a bigger salary down the road (which he's since gotten).

refter said...

I NEVER use a ridiculous argument as "you say this, so you're not a real fan", so I don't feel aimed at. And you start your opinion with the same argument.

If it's about business, the same goes for the board. And they have acted as terrible businessmen if you see how they handled this case...

And I repeat: if it would be all about the money, he'd have already signed with City.

Anonymous said...


It's hard to have a real discussion when you have trouble comprehending what I'm actually saying.

When I said, "that screams volumes about how much a player is wanted." What I mean is, Barcelona wants him a lot, otherwise they wouldn't commit 7.5 million dollars to him. All the talk in the world is meaningless, Eto'o can pledge himself to Barcelona, Laporta can talk about how Eto'o is the best. What talks in the end is what you actually do, offering 7.5 million is an action that shows Barcelona's willingness to commit a big chunk of money to Eto'o. If he doesn't want to sign it, it shows his intentions.

I don't have "barca-board-like-knowledge" nor do I claim to. I would rather use logic, and reasoning to reduce the situation down to its facts.

It's easy to love players like Eto'o and Ronaldinho because they score goals and perform. It's easy to hate on Barcelona's management because it's a faceless, business suit wearing decision maker in a pen. You can't appease millions of fans with every decision. Barcelona's board has pulled the club out of crippling debt from the last era into a double Champion's League winning, healthiest financial club in the world.

But it's easy to love the players for that, I know. When we don't win, then let's oust the board because it's all their fault and not the players' fault. Don't you think about why people ALWAYS blame the government, always blame the board, always blame authority?

NouBarca said...

In that case, Eto is a smart business man. Using all he can to come out ontop. When football becomes "business" in Messi's case in few years, I am sure you would all remind him of how "you made him and picked him up from the gutter in argentina"

Anonymous said...


2 things at play here.

Champion's League = more prestige = more exposure to a wider audience = more endorsements = more money. It's not just about the money upfront that we hear about.

He will sign with City as soon as Barcelona decides to pay him a 15 million release fee. If he waits until next year to sign he can get clubs to pay him a 15-20 million euro sign on fee since they don't have to pay a transfer fee.

refter said...

I, for me, don't hate the board, why put everything so white/black. I just say they did bad in this case. For some, the board is always right... Which is quite unlikely.

LéonDragón said...

anony, are you financial manager, or do you have any other position at the club? did you pay him?

...we as fans, should at least, respect the players who done so much for our club, """as we're so or so not involved in any financial and politically decisions""".

but to read some comments here, are shameful and """should better kept back of respect"""...

refter said...

If he's commercially worth nothing like some say, CL or not wouldn't change anything...

And his agent categorically denied the 15 million bonus thing, that was (in his word) spread by If that's true, they seem to have reached their goals with some fans...

Anonymous said...

...we as fans, should at least, respect the players who done so much for our club, """as we're so or so not involved in any financial and politically decisions""".
but to read some comments here, are shameful and """should better kept back of respect"""..."

Again, who says we don't appreciate players? I have an Eto'o shirt that I wear with pride.

If you want to support the club from the periphery, and not care about the business dealings that's fine, that's your choice. But those business decisions change the product on the field. If a fans wants to become better versed in the goings on of a club, that just makes them more informed fans. Let's say we throw away 25 million euros and let Eto'o go for free. Well that decision could be the difference between signing a Left Back and another Midfielder. When we lose next year and people are complaining about the board's lack of ability or funds to buy a proper Left Back or a backup Midfielder, an informed fan can say, well I know precisely why we didn't make those purchases, we reduced our transfer budget by 25 million to 'respect' Eto'o.

refter, I don't think things are black/white at all. I don't think the board is always right. They're just easy to blame in every single situation. If you take a step back and disassociate your love of Eto'o from the situation it's pretty obvious Eto'o has his own agenda and has tied the club's hands.

refter said...

*spread by the board to make him look as greedy*

Anonymous said...


His agent also denied categorically the offer by Manchester City. The very same day Manchester City's manager Mark Hughes said on the Man City website "We already offered for Eto'o, we are awaiting a decision"

refter said...

Your wrong, Anony.

1. Mesalles denied to have a personal offer from City (when Laporta had revealed there was a stratothing offer).

2. Hughes said (the NEXT day) they have made a bid to Barça (not to Eto'o) and that they were waiting for an answer and that there was a problem between Barcelona and Eto'o. He didn't talk about a personal offer.

barca4life said...

Everytime it comes to certain players like yaya and etoo and you criticize on this blog all of a sudden you are the devil to some people. I say what i feel. And honestly etoo isnt worth the drama to me again. Not at age 29 to stay for another 4 years of this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

No, it was the same day. I watched the Mesalles press conference, I was commenting the whole time. And later the same day the website interview showed up. Perhaps you live in an North American time zone which would make it separate days.

Mesalles didn't specify the offer at all, he said the whole thing was fake.

Anonymous said...

Besides, he said his intention was always to stay. Well even if the club 'disrespected' him along the way. They still showed him the money by offering the 7.5 million extension. If he wants to stay regardless of the board's plans why does he just sign the contract. Surely with a 3 year contract the board wouldn't be able to force him out. They'd lose 22 million euros worth of salaries by trying to freeze him out.

NouBarca said...

I am like Eto now. hard to talk to. I dont just understand. I dont 8 Barca board. All I am saying is that they got this wrong. accept it. Why is it such a big deal to accept that we "messed up"? Our ego seems to be bigger than Etos. All players cannot be like Iniesta. People are different. Cantona is a ManU legend, but if that was us, he would have been a "problem in the dressing room".
Moral of the story: lets learn to accept it when we are wrong

refter said...

Mesalles spoke about the personal offer when asked about the statements by Laporta about the strato offer which would make him the best paid player of the world.

Offer to Barcelona is not the same as offer to the player.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying the board is 'right' in this case. They could have used the media better like Mesalles, they could have turned the fans on Eto'o better, but they clearly were outplayed by Mesalles.

It's not about 'accepting the wrong' at this point. We should be figuring out what the next move is, what's in the best interest of the club, what's the best resolution?

That's where I disagree. Letting Eto'o leave for free would be the worst resolution, for us that is. It opens up a whole can of worms for next year, from competition issues, to chemistry issues, can you imagine Eto'o giving up the 9 for another striker? How motivated will a player be to be on his best behavior when he knows he's gone after this season? How happy will he be when he's left on the bench for the new hot shot 40 million striker? We don't need any of that.

For me, there are only 2 resolutions. Either Eto'o is sold or he signs the contract extension and becomes our striker for the next 2-3 years. I don't care how you get to that point, but those are the only acceptable resolutions.

NouBarca said...

"it's pretty obvious Eto'o has his own agenda and has tied the club's hands."

Please can you tell me what lead to this agenda? And why did the club allow him "tie its hands".

I dont look for scape goats- unlike some. Thus I dont blame the board every time, its my 1st time of blaming them for allowing things get messy. If we win, its the board-players-fans and same if we lose.
For instance, i am kool with them not rushing into buying players yet. we would get our targets before market closes

fcbee said...

That guy is mentally so terribly strong, so even with one year, he'll give everyting (also with a new contract at whatever team and the world cup coming up). If you see how he fought back after last summer after being sent out by Guardiola and having to start on the bench during pre-season... Impressive.

My solution is a decent negotiation like in all other renewals. In no other case the club has made a "take it or leave it" offer like this (in quite an undecent way). This is the offer from the club, now Eto'o can make a counter-offer and then we'll see.

refter said...

I go with Nou here: if you have some critical comment about the board, some immediately say that they have done great things and this and that.

But those great things, which we all recognize I'm sure, don't mean they cannot make mistakes and that you cannot comment if you think they're acting wrong.

thebackseatstrangler said...

you guys have really short attention spans. eto'o had the chance to renew on numerous occasions last season but HE, not the board, decided to put things off until after the champions league final.

his dumbass decided it was a good idea to ask for a shit-load of cash(more than xavi, more than messi) to renew him & when laporta, txiki & co decided to call his bluff and found a mark of a club (man city) to sell him to he freaked out.

his manager decided to hold a press conference to bad mouth barca. the board countered by offering a contract where he earned the same amount of wages as the year before to try & save face & now their treated as the assholes.

eto'o's agent is trying to create the illusion that barcelona is trying desperately to get rid of him therefore bringing his transfer price down enabling a more prestigious club to swoop him up and give him the chance to play champions league football.

i appreciate eto'o's contribution to this club over the years more than anyone but fuck that fool.

fcbee said...

By the way, this must be the issue that divides the fans the most as long as I remember. Even the Ronaldinho case was less heavy than this.

NouBarca said...

Anon, we all love Barca, but from your statements, Barca means all, Eto can jump. you said

"It's not about 'accepting the wrong' at this point. We should be figuring out what the next move is, what's in the best interest of the club, what's the best resolution? " Thats the problem, its all about the club, and its the players that go out there and play. So, they need to be happy too.

AND B4L, well, maybe certain players like Yaya and Eto are not are not feeling the love. yaya's contract was over dragged. If you promised, why delay? every club saw that as an open door to bid for him, cos they assmued we didnt need/value him. He didnt need to ask b4 we keep our part of the deal.
Thank God thats sorted now

refter said...

"you guys have really short attention spans. eto'o had the chance to renew on numerous occasions last season but HE, not the board, decided to put things off until after the champions league final."

How do you know the club wanted to offer him a renewal during the season in the first place? A few months earlier they wanted him out...

He just said "for the next few months, I want to focus on my game". We won the treble, so guess that was the right decision. And the club apparently had decided the same anyway, because Marquez, Puyol and Valdes also had to wait.

And after the season, when Eto'o was ready to talk, the club didn't do anything. If there wouldn't have been the press conference, he probably still wouldn't have had an offer...

Anonymous said...

Ok I'll address a few things.

Why the 7.5 million is a take it or leave it? Yes, every player would like a salary bump. But we're not talking about Mascherano who's making 2 million per year or Vidic making 2 million a year getting a bumper deal. 7.5 million is a World Top 10 salary. It's the second highest on the club. Going higher would break the wage structure (and yes this is extremely important, but it's another whole discussion). Eto'o's maximum salary can only be just below Messi. That's something you either accept or don't. Unless we decide to raise wages across the board and change the balance sheet, this cannot be changed.

Here's the problem with Mesalles claims, to me at least. His 2 biggest assertions are that 1, Barcelona is trying to make him look greedy. 2, Their asking price for him is too high.

What does Barcelona accomplish with those two assumptions? If Barcelona makes Eto'o seem greedy, that means they want to force Eto'o to sign a contract below his worth (a paycut), which was reportedly what they originally offered. However that plan is now scrapped, if this was their intention they gave in and conceded defeat by offering him the full 7.5 million extension.

The second assumption is that Barcelona is setting the transfer price too high. Again, what does Barcelona possibly gain from this? If someone offers the high price, then both Barcelona and Eto'o win, the agent gets a higher bonus. If nobody offers the high price, then Eto'o gets what he wants, to leave for free next year. Sounds like win-win for Eto'o, why would Eto'o care how high Barcelona sets the price?

Anonymous said...


It's interesting you brought up Yaya. Yaya still had 2 more years left on his contract. When Barcelona gave him a big raise he only extended his contract 1 more year beyond that, not 2. Why? MONEY. So him and his can ask for another extension and raise after next year. Why is it that when you sign a 4 year contract with a team, it's only good for 2 years before the club needs to raise your wage? Nobody forced you to sign the contract.

refter said...

That breaking the wage structure is such a lousy argument that always comes up. With Valdes they also used it, but in the end they gave him a salary that quite clearly "broke the structure".

There's enough room between Messi and Eto'o to give him some more. Even a symbolic raise of a few 100 000 euro would do. And I'm sure Xavi or Henry wouldn't mind too much...

He didn't say he care, he just said it was too much.

thebackseatstrangler said...

@ refter...this is from january 2nd

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona has made the first steps to extend the contract of Barcelona forward and Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o (27).

Because of the delicateness of the operation after Barcelona wanted Eto'o to leave at the start of this season, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has taken charge of the renewal. Over the last weeks, Laporta has been trying to restore the relationships with the player and his entourage. The positive contacts by telephone have lead to a first working lunch.

Eto'o would be ready to turn the page and is totally involved in the new project and Laporta has agreed that Barcelona will make a serious effort. While the player nevertheless isn't in a hurry to close a new deal, the club has the intention to renew the contract of the striker before the end of the season.

A deal seems to be possible, but it cannot be predicted when an agreement could be reached. There will be new meetings scheduled in the coming weeks and months. To avoid additional pressure, both parties have agreed to not make public statements on the negotiations.

NouBarca said...

OK- Since we are not going to reach a compromise, Barca Board wins. I give up. Eto pack your things and go already. You are causing us shame and disgrace. We have people lined up already for your role. Its not a do or die affiar, Barca can get a better scorer with the amount of assists you get. What part of that dont you understand Sammu, jst go and thanks for all u did.

Now whats next

refter said...

I'm sorry but I stopped after "Sport claims" (ok, I read further but knowing this is probably just a made-up, 2 January, then they don't know what to write about...).

Sport also said we had a pre-agreement with Ribery and Bayern or even a total deal. The negotiations of Puyol's renewal was also discussed as being the next one after Xavi at the end of last year and that the talks were ongoing and close but it's still not signed. Let's focus on the facts.

thebackseatstrangler said...

here you go reefer

Asked about the ongoing renewal negotiations, Barcelona sports vice-president Rafael Yuste has said in an interview with Catalan radio station Catalunya Ràdio that Barcelona now plans to start talking with Barcelona players Carles Puyol (30), Víctor Valdés (26) and Samuel Eto'o (27), whose contracts expire in the summer of 2010:

"First, we want to close the renewals of Xavi and Busquets. I have spoken with Txiki and he has told me that his brother is recovering well, so the two will sign when he has returned to Barcelona.

After that, we're gonna deal step by step with the renewals of Puyol, Valdés and Eto'o. I sure can't see youth players like Puyol or Valdés wearing another shirt than Barça's. I like and defend our youth academy, because the home-grown players are the ones who make the other players integrate into the team."

thebackseatstrangler said...

maybe if you read more of these articles you wouldn't be so quick to chime in @ the board's injustices

Anonymous said...


But that's just it. In the end they didn't break the wage structure. They gave him 4 or 5 + 2. That's just below Xavi/Henry/Etoo and soon to be Iniesta. It's more expensive than they wanted to pay for Valdes but they swallowed it as long as it didn't match the tier Xavi/Henry were on. In terms of importance, term of club service, player value. He got mostly what he deserved. Had Asenjo been a viable option I doubt Valdes would have gotten it.

I would totally agree with the symbolic raise, but that's clearly not good enough for Eto'o or they would have countered with 7.9m or something. If the club can accept 7.5 they would accept 100,000 or 200,000 more. In my opinion*, Eto'o's intention was always to leave after this year for free or get a huge raise.

If he didn't care why say it? Why is it necessary for an agent to comment on the club's dealings if there's no intent there? While he was at it, why not talk about Filipe or Villa transfers too?

thebackseatstrangler said...

that last one was from dec 17th.,..just check the blog's old posts

refter said...

The Puyol and Valdes cases were also only dealt with after the season, so why blame Eto'o then?

And while Puyol and Valdes immediately got an offer after the season, Eto'o didn't...

They gave Valdes more than they wanted after long negotiations, so they were clearly going over their limit there. Again, that wage structure thing is so lousy. As if some players are getting exactly the same. It's not as easy as that... Spaniards and foreigners have different taxes for example.

Because he was asked about his idea about the fee that was suited. 25-30 million is enough for you, sir? Personally, I think it's too much if there's only one year left. Was it necessary for Laporta to talk (or even lie) about the personal offer for Eto'o?

"I would totally agree with the symbolic raise, but that's clearly not good enough for Eto'o or they would have countered with 7.9m or something. If the club can accept 7.5 they would accept 100,000 or 200,000 more. In my opinion*, Eto'o's intention was always to leave after this year for free or get a huge raise."

that's all about personal opinions that have no factual ground so I won't go there.

Anonymous said...

That's why I put the asterisk on that comment.

Again, it doesn't matter if it's too much. Unless his plan is to engineer a move to another club for below what Barcelona could get in terms of fair market value, he shouldn't care. As far as it being too expensive, I'll say it again. People are too hung up on the last year of his contract for the transfer fee. If a club could sign Eto'o or Fabiano for 25 million would they not choose Eto'o just because he has a year left on his contract? After the player is signed you still got one of the best strikers in the world for the same amount you would have paid for Fabiano. It amounts to a little bit of leverage that's rarely used. Plus Man City has to pay a premium just for being Man City, they paid 20 million for Nigel De Jong who had 6 months left on his contract.

And yes it was necessary for Laporta to talk about the offer because he was pressuring Eto'o to accept the offer. He actually said Eto'o has two options, accept our offer or their bigger offer. Laporta wasn't hiding his intentions, unlike Mesalles who mentions this stuff for no reason apparently.

Foreigners get tax breaks the first 6 years so I don't think it applies to Eto'o.

Laporta in an interview saying he wanted to renew Eto'o as long as it was within the correct wage range.

Eto'o stating in a press conference that he didn't want to renew during the season.

refter said...

"And yes it was necessary for Laporta to talk about the offer"

Even if their was no personal offer???

"He actually said Eto'o has two options, accept our offer or their bigger offer."

He didn't talk about an offer of Barcelona! "I would like him to stay but he has an offer he probably can't refused." This isn't the same as: "We made him an offer but he has a better one."

And in your other articles Laporta also didn't say there was a concrete offer. The "correct wage" thing seemed to have been a paycut...

Anonymous said...

That's assuming you take Mesalles' word at face value.

I'm not sure at what point Laporta became the liar and Mesalles became the bastion of integrity.

How can Man City buy Eto'o if they don't have a personal offer? Why would Barcelona make up a personal offer? Why would they ask Eto'o to accept an offer that doesn't exist if their intention (according to Mesalles) is to force Eto'o out of the club? If Barcelona is keeping Man City from presenting a personal offer to Eto'o by way of not accepting the bid yet, then again, Eto'o gets what he wants and gets to play out his contract.

Anonymous said...

Mesalles' assertions don't make any sense logically.

Come up with a situation where it makes sense that Barcelona has acted in the way they have and have had the intentions that Mesalles' claims. I don't think you can. But I can come up with motives & intents of Mesalles for exactly the course of events that has happened.

Anonymous said...

Here's one of the biggest Barcelona/Laporta bashers in the comments for our inability to resign Eto'o this summer.

On March 17, 2009
skanjos said...

face it people eto is the kind of guy that is hungry for titles and wants to conquer the world. he has done everything in barcelona,if he does that twice he will want to prove himself on another league.

if we get cl this year i think he should go to make his mark in epl or calcio.he has proven his form in spain and europe,he deserves more.i too believe that if he was named etodinho he would be called one of the best and most complete strikers,now he has to work twice to get there.
ty eto whatever you decide we love you man

refter said...

"That's assuming you take Mesalles' word at face value."

Hughes kind of confirmed it by saying they had only talked with Barcelona and that Barca and the player should now first arrange things...

"I'm not sure at what point Laporta became the liar and Mesalles became the bastion of integrity."

Laporta didn't want to repeat the thing about the offer in his last interview...

"How can Man City buy Eto'o if they don't have a personal offer?"

They sure have it but they didn't talk about it with the player yet apparently.

"Why would Barcelona make up a personal offer? Why would they ask Eto'o to accept an offer that doesn't exist if their intention (according to Mesalles) is to force Eto'o out of the club?"

Because if he then nevertheless stays, it seems like he's just screwing Barca (that didn't make him the 2year offer then, so it was leaving now or next summer for free at that point).

"If Barcelona is keeping Man City from presenting a personal offer to Eto'o by way of not accepting the bid yet, then again, Eto'o gets what he wants and gets to play out his contract."

We don't know what Eto'o wants.

Xaviniesta said...

wow what have we here?? 64 posts and counting! *whistles*

Marcos said...

Well, I seem to have stirred up something of a hornets nest :s

Thank you for the feedback fella's, any opinions about how it's written as well as the content would be much appreciated.

Anurag - I did write it before that, but i'm not sure I would of changed too much. I don't tend to listen to agent talk as i'm not sure how much of it it actually known by the player, never mind sanctioned by him. My reasoning came more from the superb season we had last year and the mantra that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

I'm interested to see he provokes such a strong reaction. He's kinda like the Marmite of football :-)

Unknown said...

I hope eto goes and barca sign villa and fabregas and bruno alves.

alves pique bruno/puyol puyol/abidal
xavi fabregas

messi villa iniesta

Xaviniesta said...

@marco, its well written, props to you.
anyways, i dont have time to read all the comments now but i read some interestings povs. i do remember etoo saying he wanted to wait for the summer before he starts his renewal talks, this was around the time the guys came back from winter break if i recall correctly, then after that, early june or thereabouts, laporta came out and said in a press con that on same day txiki was meeting with mestalles to discuss sami's future, something the guy himself confirmed later. also mestalles said that unlike last time (meaning last ssn) when they were told sami wasnt in pep's plans this time around the relationship was better but he also said (and this surprised me) sami wanted to stay but if there was a good offer from outside they will study it. then he said another meeting was gonna be held at a later time.reading that i thought sami wanted a raise and barca wasnt willing to give it. not sure what happened after that or if the 2nd mtg took place, havent read about it..anyway, these things came out in various news sites, you guys can check it out. there's more to this we dont know about, thats why its hard to judge...maybe we could construct a chronology of events or sth, for better understanding, in light of some of the exchanges here.

Anonymous said...

thats marcos..not marco.


Kxevin said...

I think that in people saying that Eto'o isn't saying "screw you" to the fans but rather to the board, I have to disagree. By saying "screw you" to the board, he is indeed screwing the fans, by disrupting the team's ability to plan for another assault at silver next season.

And don't forget, for us socis out there, that it's even a bit more personal.

Eto'o had command of this exchange from the beginning, even before the club made errors. That's why he wasn't sold along with Ronaldinho and Deco. He simply refused to negotiate or consider offers, just as he is doing now.

And let's face it: The reason that the world isn't beating down our door for Eto'o is because nobody is sure that he's the real thing--that is to say, whether he can bang in goals as he does when not backed by Xavi/Iniesta/Messi/Henry. If you look at his play when members of that group are absent, it points to "no."

At our level, football is a business. And if an employee isn't wanted (as was clear when the club tried to sell him last season), it's only stubborn-headedness and ego that makes an employee say "I'll show you," and refuse to leave.

Yes, Eto'o had an exceptional year as part of a brilliant front line. It's appreciated. Now leave. It's curious how, in the light of the information about the previous attempts to renew him (which many of us remember, without being reminded) who is really disrespecting who in this matter.

marcos, Eto'o will always be a lightning rod, because 25+ goals a season and the potential of saying goodbye to that, tends to galvanize a group, right? Some say that will be a huge loss. I say that playing with Messi, Henry, Iniesta and Xavi, any top-quality striker can go pichichi.

Kxevin said...

Oh on YouTube somewhere there is a compilation of Eto'o misses this season, that someone posted a link to over at The Offside.

Unfortunately, it's about 8 minutes long.

As I noted when the vid was posted, any striker's misses video would look gory. But what bothers me about Eto'o's misses are what many have been saying all along. It's a wandering touch, and an inability to hit much other than a flat, hard shot. If there's a hole for the ball to fit through, great. If not, it just makes the keeper look good.

Ultimately I don't know the answer is in this situation. But I would suspect that the sole reason the club is trying to renew him is to regain a bit of control, so that we can shop him without the danger of him leaving on a free. I don't think that anyone in a position of authority at the club wants to see him in the colors next season.

blaugrana1 said...

sorry pep im gna use caps,,,as it is a very important message to all cules.




thebackseatstrangler said...

"The Puyol and Valdes cases were also only dealt with after the season, so why blame Eto'o then? "

because they've both renewed & eto'o still hasn't & won't.

not only that but, like that kxevin dude said, he is holding up the boards ability to hold negotiations for his replacement.

is that loyalty? is that showing gratitude to the club that allowed him the stage to be considered one of the best strikers in the world?

TengkuAmir10 said...

bye2 eto'o.get urself the contract u deserve at city.n some money fee for us too.n WELCOME VILLA!!!

Marc4barca said...

i'll just ask the simple question of how many players actually want to stay at a club that doesn't want them?

mostly we hear... if the club doesn't want me then i will leave. players get treated bad and some get treated nice, some leave quietly then blast the club later and well one refuses to leave. so tell me what good could come from eto staying, what is the sense staying when it's only going to piss of the board even more, sit on a bench for a whole yr or worse not even get named in the squad , waste a whole yr of his career crying and complaining. nou said let's face it the board was wrong and in some cases they are, i say let's face it the world is unfair and you can't get your way through force nothing good comes from it. i'm not taking any sides though cause the board should of ignored eto keep in as a bench player behind villa and let him go in January cause knowing eto's lion pride he isn't going to want to be benching for a whole season.

blaugrana1 it is also known that spain and barca play the same way so villa doesn't need any lessons and i doubt it will even take two matches in pre season for them to click. he does have a big space to fill but its a risk we have to take cause if eto stays now after all the drama then you can bet our squad will end up like last 07-08 season.

woo sah said...

first off i'd like to say well-written and a interesting point of view.
i have to point out tho that i dont think eto'o will ever understudy ne of our young players coming up. like someone pointed seems like bojan has connected with henry but not eto'o.

next...commenting on the small debate going on between a few ppl here...i would like to add my few cents. no one can deny how much eto'o has done for us and how hard he's worked for us for so many seasons. but i want to remind everyone talking about loyalty...eto'o did state last season that barca was more like a job. not a place where his heart and passion lay. one knows the whole truth about what happened between the board and eto'o and his agent. it's all a bunch of he said she said further diluted by media crap. but regardless of who's right or who's wrong if eto'o screws over the club...that is something i CANNOT agree with. the board may have wronged him..yes but if he screws over the club...that would just break my heart.
but its true like wat most of u have said...he's in the drivers seat and he can do watever he wants in the end.

TengkuAmir10 said...

eto is no better than villa.villa is perfect for barca.i can feel season we will have a sixtuplet or sixruplet or what do they call it if villa comes n eto goes.

blaugrana1 said...

looool barca board have gone absolutely nuts! Pep guardiola said he wanted a bigggger squad! we r gona loan out cacares and kerrison and get in villa for eto?? how is that making our squad bigger? three players out and one in???

Wow what a transfer season! Preseason is looming in on barca, and no matter who we have as our coach or commitment of players,,,new players r needed if we r aiming to win!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

blaugrana1 not really, we are aiming to lose.

Anonymous said...

this genius board has done what no other genius board achieved before, winning the triple. they kept players like Henry and Abidal although fans like you were showing lack of faith in these players. this board signed Dani Alves for less than what he deserves, according to this market prices, and fans like you were complaining about their stupidity in over pricing a full back.

furthermore it is plain hypocrisy to call Eto'o a scapegoat, he is the only player left from the trio of him, Ronaldinho and Deco. based solely on his great performance this pre-season, showing that Guardiola and the board accepted their mistake in initially trying to sell, and they didn't act as a genius board back then. and their decision to sell the other two was just the right one.

TengkuAmir10 it has nothing do with feelings, Valencia forwards don't enjoy the kind of assisting our front line enjoy, yet Villa is scoring a staggering amount of goals, that exceeded Eto'o's goals.
and no he wouldn't need to take time to adapt to our system, he plays the same role with Valencia but with less accomplished players, just compare the two squads. and he was certainly astonishing before joining Valencia.
in 80 appearances for the modest Gijon he scored 38 goals. scored 87 in 129 equaling an average of .67 per game which is even better than Eto'o's .65 putting in consideration too, the difference between Barcelona and Valencia during 2005 till now, a team winning the league 3 time and the CL 2 others, while the other is struggling to just qualify for the group stage.

TengkuAmir10 said...

btw,i read the barca based tabloid sport n it says that villa is worth twice more than benzema bcos last season he scored 43 goals including im thinking its a good buy.

@anony.r u agreeing wif me about villa or what?

Anonymous said...

TengkuAmir10 clearly agreeing with you that Villa is going to be better than Eto'o.
But not based on feelings, to simply put it, Villa scored 204 career goals while Eto'o scored 203.

Anonymous said...

by the way, is it so hard to type with?

blaugrana1 said...

this argument can go on forever for the goal ratios...well eto is sharing his goals with messi and henry and before that with ronaldhino so that argument is pointless.

In regards to the price of players...i really did not care for alves's price. I believe that if u want quality u pay for it. if you dont wana pay for it u gota have sme patience and train em..which takes a while..not sayin not do it but dont do it when we r defending three trophies and laliga is bcomin the most competitive league with top noth players cmin in , exluding madrids signings..

imho etoo is a top notch striker, we shud keep him, bring in keirrison and bojan as backups..and we can always use henry as cf when acn starts. that will give our stingy board more cash to buy the players needed for the lw lb cf df positions.

We already bought a striker (kerrison), y loan him out when he will b understudy to henry and eto and messi..he can b a direct replacement for eto..and then we can see who truly is better kerrison or bojan..bojan can however play on the wings as well..

c its simple..villa is gr8 but y buy him when we have three capable strikers!??!?! i dont get it!

Anonymous said...

blaugrana1 I wish it was as simple as this, Eto'o would have made it easier for all of us, yes, indeed there is no point in selling Eto'o and paying more to sign the same player again, but Eto'o can't just shut up, big drama queen, and it is not easy to go and win matches week in week out with problems in the dressing room, with Eto'o there are as much obstacles off-field as are on-field.
Villa won't be like this, he doesn't accept being substituted easily, but he is grateful for Valencia for what they have done for him, never asking to leave, nor asking for any pay rise, never threaten to put them in the corner, imagine if Eto'o was still without the june paycheck.. hahaha

TengkuAmir10 said...

just the fact that eto does not want to renew blaugrana1 thats all.n if he does leave for free,there goes 30million.n i think the board is a lil' bit smarter than us i think theyll do d right thing.

Anonymous said...

this stingy board blaugrana1 just won the triple, and another 1 not so long ago. I would love to be as stingy as them. which other board since 2000, including nonstingy-big money-spending-galactico-creating madrid's board has achieved such feet?
you are just panic because of Madrid's singing. even Manchester United who can boost their financial powers with debt anytime they want, and who have just sold Ronaldo to madrid for 130 m $; didn't match Madrid's price for Benzema. I guess on stingy scale from 1 to 10 they score 0.

fcbee said...

"Villa won't be like this, ... he is grateful for Valencia for what they have done for him, never asking to leave, nor asking for any pay rise"

He asked for one (and got it) last summer... And although I love Villa and think he's the best available replecement if Eto'o goes, you cannot say that Spain plays the same system as Barcelona. And I doubt that he'll be able to put in as much work as Eto'o, while pressuring high is the essence of this team. And with Henry having said he's starting to get tired, that could become a problem.

NouBarca said...

I am one of the few people who supported HENRY & ABI when they first arrive and I was also thirlle dwe got Alves. For those who have time to dig into old post, go check it and dig it out. I didnt blame the board for wasting money on these 3.

All I am saying is why did we allow Eto to be in the driving seat? As you all claim he is a trouble maker on and off the pitch, thus he is predictable.
Someone called him a ticking time bomb. So why did you allow it to blow up in your face? thats not so smart. My point is we could have sorted this long ago. But right now, no matter how much you type on here, Eto aint reading it neither is the board. Each camp has its game plan and lets just watch events unfold. All I care about is BARCA sucess. Not Larpota or Eto.
And for those who seem to know Villa very well, dont be shocked when you get the rude awakening. What you dont have always seem better. Havent you noticed that most men that cheat on their wives always do it with "less-beautiful women"? lol.

TengkuAmir10 said...

"Eto aint reading it neither is the board."

good thing to point to everyone single guy including me who likes to comment in this blog

Xaviniesta said...

there's no point questioning villa's abilities. he is the best striker in spain and has been so for several seasons now. eto'o brings his own brand of talent to the table, there is no point comparing, but if we have to then i agree with anonynous, villa is slightly better than him. and i think the point of bringing up old post and news articles is so people could inform themselves and arm themselves with facts before jumping into a debate. i think we all agree sami has given much to the club but the club has also given him much. hes one of the top paid players in the world, 2nd highest in the club, only reason messi is paid a little more than him is cos of his commercial value. if etoo sells more shirts than messi he will be highest paid. i sense ppl think he is being treated differently cos he is etoo, he is not from the cantera, not favoured etc etc thats crap. we have short memories if we cling to that notion. when etoo came to barca he could do no wrong in the club's eyes. if anyone could claim they had round the clock access/exclusive ear of joan laporta that time it was him. he was the favorite, more favoured even than ronaldinho. ronnie had the raw deal not etoo, that much can be said. barca even poured money on etoo's pet charities, so just ask yourself what could have gone wrong. as a fan he is one of my barca heroes but one that at times is difficult to love tbh.

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