Soccer

Eto'o: I clashed with Benitez

2010-09-22 07:49
Samuel_Eto'o (AFP)
Johannesburg - Samuel Eto'o admits he clashed with Rafa Benitez upon his arrival at Inter Milan, but insists the issue has since been resolved.

The Cameroon international believes Inter are yet to get the best out of him, having often deployed him out of position.

Eto'o claims he had no qualms in taking on more defensive duties under Jose Mourinho, as the club swept the board when it came to major silverware, but he is keen to revert back to a central striking role under Benitez.

He is still being asked to play much wider than he would like at the moment, but he is happy to compromise as he is no longer expected to track back quite so often.

"Benitez? It is true when he arrived that we had a slight clash," Eto'o told L'Equipe Mag.

"I told him I have to score more, come closer to the box and the centre of the field. He told me he will do everything he can for that to happen.

"I am still playing on the flank, but with a lot less defensive work."

Eto'o has also revealed that he came close to quitting international after the recent World Cup.

Cameroon flopped badly under Paul Le Guen in South Africa and their talismanic skipper admits the setback hit him hard.

"I must admit I thought about it (quitting) during the World Cup," said Eto'o.

"But only for a short time because I love my country too much. The Indomitable Lions mean everything to me.

"I want us to have a good team for the 2012 African Cup of Nations and a very strong team for 2014.

"I want to have success at the World Cup. To achieve that we have to unite, support the young players and turn to the future."

Eto'o is also keen to play down any suggestion that he is a troublesome influence for club and country, having been tarnished with an unfavourable reputation down the years.

He added: "My personality? I played and had success with Ronaldinho, (Lionel) Messi and a lot of great players. If I could not stand big names, why would I have helped Thierry Henry to join Barcelona?

"All my past coaches will tell you that I am a great professional."

Read more on:    rafa benitez  |  samuel eto'o
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