ROME - Cameroon forward Samuel Eto'o claimed he had nothing against new coach Jose Mourinho when he was officially unveiled as an Inter Milan player yesterday.
Eto'o was part of a swap deal that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave the Italians and head to Barcelona with Eto'o, Alexander Hleb on loan and ß46 million (R509million) going in the opposite direction.
But before the 28-year-old could start training with his new team he first had to answer questions about comments he once made several years ago about Mourinho when he was coach of Chelsea. Eto'o, who played for Barca, then said he would never play for a Mourinho team because he didn't like their style of football.
"I've never said anything against Mourinho, for many years I've wanted to work with him and now I can do so," insisted Eto'o. "I'm proud to have him as my coach and I will work to repay him the faith he has shown in me."
Mourinho himself supported Eto'o's claim and said even if bad words had been exchanged in the past, that's all part of the game.
"Chelsea and Barcelona played each other six times in three years. I've never been interested in whether he spoke well or badly about me because he's like me," said Mourinho.
"He's someone who after a defeat goes home unhappy. The second year at Chelsea I wanted to buy him.
"But they told me no, like Inter did with Maicon. Both the squad and I are delighted that he is with us."
Eto'o proclaimed that he does not want to be compared to Ibrahimovic, who he is replacing.
"I'm Samuel Eto'o and I don't compare myself to anyone else, my past speaks for itself," said the only African player to have won the Champions League twice. "Ibra is a great player and I wish him all the best in a team that I will always love." - Sapa-AFP