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Samuel Eto’o and Jose Mourinho formed a good relationship while at Inter Milan, as the ex Cameroon international played a key role in Inter’s treble winning season in the 2009-10 campaign.
Three years afterwards, the pair will reunite at Chelsea, but their relationship soured after Eto’o joined Chelsea.
Mourinho signed a 32-year-old Samuel Eto’o, as the Cameroonian joined on a one-year deal. Eto’s time at the club was decent as he bagged 9 goals in 21 appearances, including a famous hat-trick against Manchester United. However, he seemed to drop form at one point due to injuries, and Jose couldn’t find a consistent scorer between him, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres.
A private conversation was leaked by a French broadcaster in which Mourinho took aim at his strikers and pointed to Eto’o’s age.
Mourinho was heard saying: “The problem with Chelsea is we lack a scorer. I have one [Eto’o] but he’s 32. Maybe 35, who knows?”
Mourinho’s comments irritated Eto’o and thus spoilt their relationship, with Eto’o going on to brand his manager a ‘fool’ when he scored his next goal as he celebrated by the corner flag like an old-age pensioner.
Eto’o seems to have kept that in the past and has hailed Mourinho as a manager that will remain dear to his heart.
“That team was like a family, like a second home, all united, from the cooks to the warehouse workers. This was our secret,” Eto’o told Sportmediaset while speaking about Inter’s famous treble winning season.
“The treble is an extraordinary memory also because I lived it with incredible people. All my companions, of course, but also Massimo Moratti, who was like a second dad in my life.”
And on Mourinho, he added: “Mourinho will always remain in my heart, a great person as well as a great trainer.”