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Football: Mourinho issues are in the past, says Eto’o


A file picture of Cameroon's forward Samuel Eto'o taking part in a training session at the Kleber Andrade stadium in Vitoria, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup football tournament. Photo - AFP

London: Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o said on Wednesday that there was no bad blood between him and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho after completing his move to Everton.

The 33-year-old scored 12 goals for Chelsea last season, but his relationship with Mourinho came under scrutiny after the Portuguese was caught on camera apparently casting doubt on Eto'o's age.

At the time, Eto'o reacted by branding Mourinho a "fool", but after signing for Everton a two-year contract, he said that he was happy to put the affair behind him.

"The only thing I have to say vis-a-vis Jose Mourinho is to thank him," said Eto'o during his presentation to the media as an Everton player.

"It is down to Jose Mourinho that I had the opportunity to be accepted and integrated into the Premier League, to play some great matches. That is the end of the discussion."

Eto'o was released by Chelsea at the end of last season and by coincidence, he could make his Everton debut against his former club, who visit Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday.

"I am not concerned about that aspect of it, that it is against my ex-team," added the former Barcelona and Inter Milan player.

"The important thing is to integrate myself into my teammates' way of working and get myself ready during the training and preparation, potentially, for that match.

"If that is not the case, should I not feature, it is important for me to get my head into the training for each match."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who Eto'o cited as a key influence on his decision to join the Merseyside club, said the striker's fitness would be monitored in order to ascertain his readiness for Saturday's game.

"We had a conversation. Being realistic, I would have loved him to have 10, 11 sessions before putting him in a competitive environment, but I very quickly learnt I was wasting my time," Martinez said.

"He wants to be helpful to the team straight away, he wants to be involved. It will come down to what sort of condition he has over the next two or three days."

Eto'o was stripped of the Cameroon captaincy this week after a disappointing World Cup, but he was reluctant to discuss international matters.

"I am an Everton player now and that is the only thing that concerns me," he said. "That is my new challenge."

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