Samuel Eto’o has aimed a dig at Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola over their role in Barcelona’s stunning side between 2008 and 2012
With Guardiola at the helm, the Catalan club were considered arguably the greatest club side of the modern era, winning three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and countless other honours.
But Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o feels his own role in their stunning run is underestimated and has declared himself the man who “made Barcelona win”.
In an astonishing swipe at his former boss, the ex-Chelsea man blasted Guardiola for not understanding his squad and said Messi was far from the player he is today.
“Pep Guardiola has lived his whole life in Barcelona, but in the years I spent there he didn’t understand the squad. He didn’t live the life of our group,” Samuel Eto’o told beIN Sports.
“I said to Guardiola: ‘you’ll apologise to me because it’s me that will make Barcelona win – not Lionel Messi’. “It was the situation back then. Messi would come later.
“You can ask Xavi, Andres Iniesta and all the others – that was my era. It was me that made Barcelona win and Guardiola would ask me for forgiveness.”
Eto’o, 38, is still playing professional for Qatar SC as he reaches the closing stages of his glittering career. He is one of the most prolific goalscorers in Barcelona history having hit the back of the net 152 times in 234 games for the Catalan club.
But Messi was also a star during Guardiola’s first season, winning his first Ballon d’Or and scoring 38 goals in 51 games to usher in his era of dominance.