Arrivederci Samuel Eto’o
Samuel Eto’o has completed his move to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala after passing his medical on Wednesday night and has now joined up with his new team mates at the squads base in Moscow. The reported figures for the transfer aren’t as high as have been speculated in recent days with Anzhi paying Inter 21 million Euros and paying Eto’o 10 million Euros per season
When asked about the move Eto’o said
“The project is very interesting, money is not so important for me, that’s just part of football,”
His debut with the Russian club will come on Saturday when Anzhi take on Rostov and he will be wearing the number 99 shirt. Many people in the football world think this move is a massive backwards step for Eto’o who is the most decorated African player in history, playing for not only Inter & Barcelona but also Mallorca and Real Madrid, during his career he has been named African player of the year four times and has won the European Champions league three times including two trebles back to back. He has also won both the Spanish and Italian leagues, an Olympic gold medal and the African cup of nations twice. For me he is one of the greatest strikers of all time.
So who are Anzhi?
Well they’ve only had one full season in the Russian top flight but have become a major club due to their new Billionaire owner Suleiman Kerimov who is an oil tycoon whose fortune has been estimated at US$7.8 billion, has poured money into the club and despite the Dagestan republic being dangerous due to a low level Islamic insurgency, Anzhi have still managed to not only attract players such as our Samuel Eto’o and Yuri Zhirkov from Chelsea but also veteran Brazilian legend and ex Inter player Roberto Carlos showing that they have great ambition to become a major European club. Due to the security issues Anzhi players live and train just outside Moscow and travel to Makhachkala for their home games which means flying about 1250 miles 15 times per season.
Eto’o and Inter
In an interview with Sky sports Italia, Sammy spoke about his realtionship with Inter president Massimo Moratti
“I have so many people to thank, but first and foremost there’s Mr Moratti. I’ll be brief, even though you could say the best things in the world about him. I’ll just say that there is a god on earth, this man is god and that’s why I say to him: thank you for everything, Mr President, for all your support and for giving me the chance to play for the best team in Italy.”
He was also asked about the various coaches he’s worked with in his time at Inter and one ‘Special’ coach in particular
“He was a Special One, one of the greatest coaches. I think that when a person gets to know him and isn’t influenced by other things – for example, some of the things written in the papers – he is truly special. But I’m only speaking about the person I knew and what I can say to Mr Mourinho is ‘Thanks a lot: thanks for giving me the chance to discuss technical matters with you.’ That was the best gift he gave me.”
Eto’o says goodbye
Being the great man that he is Eto’o decided to take the time to write a letter to say thank you and goodbye to Inter and all the Interista that have stood by him for the past two seasons, and had the letter below published on both Inter.it and also his own website (www.samueletoo-officiel.com)
“I think it is right and fair to thank the people who have given me so much in these two fantastic years that I’ve spent at Inter. First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and most cordial greetings to the president, Mr Massimo Moratti, and to his family for everything they have done and for the way they have helped me and those dearest to me. I will always feel a special bond with Mr Moratti for the respect and the affection that he has shown me in these marvellous years.
Then there are all my team-mates: I’m aware that without their encouragement and help on the pitch Inter wouldn’t have achieved so many important victories on a national and international level. A very special thank you, also, to all the Italian and foreign footballers who have enabled me to become a better player game after game.
A sincere thank you to the coaches who have been at Inter in these years and especially to Mr José Mourinho, who was so determined to have me at this club, for the opportunity he gave me by bringing me to Milan.
A fond farewell also to technical director Marco Branca, sporting director Piero Ausilio, team manager Andrea Butti and all the staff at F.C. Internazionale and at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti in Appiano Gentile: doctors and physios, helpers, chefs and waiters, kit men and gardeners, and everyone who works at Inter Channel.
I will never forget the affection of the Inter fans (Mauro is the greatest of them all) who made me feel like one of them and who always supported and helped me. Nor will I forget all the journalists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
I also feel I should thank my Italian ‘mamma’, Ciacia Guzzetti, for her help and my fantastic manager, Claudio Vigorelli, for his commitment and professionalism.
Thanks to a man who is an Interista through and through, Marco Materazzi, for making me feel ‘Italian’. Thanks big bro.
In the hope that I haven’t forgotten anyone, thanks again to every one of you!”
And so it is with great sadness and fond memories that we say arrivederci to not only a wonderful footballer but also a fantastic man who in his 101 appearences for the Nerazzurri always had a smile on his face and on the pitch he was nothing short of magical with 53 goals and 22 assists.
Just as a final word I would like to say on behalf of Inter Milan Fans Worldwide, Thank you for the memories and you will always be in our hearts as one of the 2010 ‘La Grande Inter’
Samuel Eto’o we salute you!