The Chelsea squad is certainly full of witty characters and “old man” Samuel Eto’o is one of them.
39 35 32 year old veteran footballer was quickly drafted into Chelsea‘s starting line-up after Fernando Torres injured himself during the warm-ups, minutes before the kick-off of their EPL home game against Tottenham Hotspurs. Eto’o even had to take his elixir of youth “smelling salts” to jerk him into the right match-mode.
Samuel Eto’o having a sniff
It must have done the trick as Samuel Eto’o seemed to turn back the years as within the opening 6 minutes, he played major roles in Chelsea’s 2 opening attacks.
In the second half, perhaps after a few more sniffs of his youth elixir, Eto’o scored in the 56th minute after racing onto a Jan Vertonghen erroneous back pass. He then hobbled to the corner flag holding his back as an old man and proceeded to use the flag as a walking stick for his goal celebration.
Samuel Eto’o has faced allegations about his age throughout his whole career, with many suggesting he is actually older than he claims to be. The recent age allegations came from his coach – Mourinho and ex-girlfriend (Mourinho had been secretly recorded while saying “I have one (Eto’o) but he’s 32. Maybe 35, who knows?”).
Eto’o had responded earlier in the week saying,“It takes more to worry me, I’m Samuel Eto’o.” also joking “Fortunately I can still score goals at 35-36 years. At 36 or 37, I still score goals against Manchester United.”
Soon after his old man celebration, Eto’o went down in the penalty box like an old man after drawing a little foul from Younes Kaboul, which resulted in a red card for the Spurs defender and a penalty kick for Chelsea, which was duly converted by Eden Hazard to make it 2-0. Eto’o was then substituted in the 76th minute to rest his aging bones.
The old man celebration gesture, no doubt, in response to private Mourinho comments was saluted by his manager who saw the humorous side of Eto’o’s goal celebration, saying
“I knew about it. It was fine, it was the best way to diffuse a situation which was funny – make fun of a funny situation – it was good.”
“Some newspapers did great with Photoshop, [mocking up a picture of an elderly Eto’o] now they don’t need too, it’s the real thing.”
Eto’o will turn 33 on Monday and Mourinho plans to give a rest to the striker and his other team-mates after a hectic schedule.
“I have given all the players Sunday and Monday off because of all the travel the players have had this week with their countries, and because we don’t have a Champions League match this week.
Maybe he (Eto’o) will go and celebrate (his birthday) with his family.
I do to know how long he can play for. I think at these ages, you analyse the player year after year. Look at Ryan Giggs, he is 40 and still good.”