Samuel Eto’o, if selected to play against Manchester City tomorrow, will hope for a repeat of the joyous scenes at Stamford Bridge that greeted his first Chelsea goal and the subsequent victory over Cardiff.
The four-time African Player of the Year showed his trademark ability to make the most of a split-second opening last weekend, when he manoeuvred inside opposition centre-back Steven Caulker and flashed a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Despite hundreds of career goals to his name, his maiden strike for his new club was one he certainly appeared to cherish, as did his team-mates.
‘I was really pleased with that because as well as it being my first goal for Chelsea, it enabled us to get the advantage over Cardiff,’ he confirms, his strike making the score 2-1 which was eventually extended to 4-1. His arm-in-the-air celebration drew comparisons from some with Alan Shearer.
‘Maybe, but I wasn’t thinking of him at that precise moment!’ Eto’o responds.
‘I was thinking of my dad who is in hospital and my young sister who has lost a baby in child birth. I was thinking of them and I ran like a madman for all the supporters who were there as well, I was really happy.’
It is now two months since Eto’o signed and if selected tomorrow, he will be involved in his eighth Chelsea game. With the latest round of international fixtures out of the way, we are entering an important and busy period with five games in a fortnight so it is important all new signings are well adapted.
‘Bit by bit I’ve settled,’ says Eto’o. ‘Change is never easy but I am a citizen of the world and you have to adapt fast because if I am happy, I will also make other people happy.
‘There have been no surprises. Not much surprises me in life although I do learn every day.’
– Samuel Eto’o will be signing copies of the first volume of his cartoon-style autobiography in the Chelsea Megastore on Wednesday from 4pm to 5.30pm. Click for details.