Frank Rijkaard has named Samuel Eto’o in his Barcelona squad ahead of Sundays game against Athletic Bilbao. It’s the first time that the Cameroon striker has been welcomed back into the fold by his boss after refusing to take to the field a fortnight ago in a game against Racing Santander at the Camp nou.
Since then, Eto’o has spoken out publicly against his coach, calling him a ‘very bad man’, and criticised his team mates. He was particularly scornful of Ronaldinho and the relationship between the two is under the very bright spotlight of the Catalan media.
Since his outburst, Eto’o and the rest of his team mates have engaged in some very public displays of affection for each other as they attempt to show a united from t in the face of criticism over recent lacklustre performances. Tomorrow’s game against the Basques is the perfect opportunity to make amends and show the fans that they have not become a pale imitation of the side that lit up European football throughout last season.
The question is; how will the Nou Camp public welcome back the petulant Eto’o? – or Samuel Ego as some have taken to calling him.
According to Rijkaard at this morning’s press conference, Rafael Márquez has been left out of the side for ‘technical reasons’. Other notable absentees include Gianluca Zambrotta and Deco, both through suspension and Juliano Belletti who is recovering from an ankle injury picked up in the midweek encounter with Liverpool.
The Barcelona squad in full : Valdés, Jorquera, Puyol, Thuram, Oleguer, Sylvinho, Gio, Motta, Edmilson, Xavi, Iniesta, Ronaldinho, Saviola, Eto'o, Gudjohnsen, Giuly, Messi and Ezquerro.