Next Game

Thailand v Chelsea

Saturday, 30 May 2015, 12:00

Friendly Match

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 3 - 1 S'land

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Eto'o: I nearly joined Arsenal

Chelsea's new signing Samuel Eto'o says he almost signed for Arsenal in 2000, but has no regrets over turning them down.

Last Updated: 14/09/13 at 12:13 Post Comment

Samuel Eto'o: Set to make Chelsea debut on Saturday

Samuel Eto'o: Set to make Chelsea debut on Saturday

Eto'o was looking to leave Real Madrid at the time after failing to get enough chances to impress at the Bernabeu, and had already been loaned out to Leganes and Espanyol.

The Cameroon international was still just a teenager, but then Mallorca boss Luis Aragones showed faith in the young striker and managed to lure him to Son Moix just when Arsene Wenger was poised to snap him up instead.

"I met Luis at a crucial moment in my life where I had to take the right direction - and thanks to him I did," Eto'o told The Sun.

"I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal and maybe I would have never been the player I am today.

"Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona. That decision changed everything."

Eto'o initially signed for Mallorca on loan and after scoring six goals in 19 La Liga appearances, he made a permanent club-record £4.4million switch in the summer of 2000.

After winning the Copa del Rey in 2003, he signed for Barcelona the following year and landed two Champions League titles with the Catalan club before repeating the achievement with his next club Inter Milan.

The four-time African Player of the Year now finds himself in the Chelsea ranks after his summer switch from Anzhi Makhachkala and is set to make his debut in the Saturday Night Football encounter at Everton in the Premier League.

Eto'o added: "I had lots of opportunities to come to England, but I am glad to finally be here now."

The 32-year-old has previously admitted that he did not always see eye to eye with Jose Mourinho during their time together with Inter, but says the attraction of working with the Portuguese boss again brought home to west London.

Eto'o told Sky Sports News: "After all that's happened in Russia over the last couple of months, I had a few proposals from European clubs - but none of them had Jose Mourinho.

"It was an opportunity for me to team up with him again, and have the opportunity to continue working with him like I did at Inter Milan. And that is the reason I am here."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Middlesbrough 0-2 Norwich: Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond strike as Canaries seal immediate return to Premier League

Norwich City gained promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, insists agent Dimitri Seluk

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, according to his agent.

UEFA chief Michel Platini says it would be good for football if Sepp Blatter loses FIFA election

Michel Platini is backing Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in Friday’s FIFA presidential election.

Mail Box

Can We Combine Danny And Theo?

The finishing of Theo Walcott and the hold-up play of Danny Welbeck would be just perfect. Plus, lots of Brendan Rodgers, some Big Sam and all hail Degsy...

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company