Cameroon great Eto’o signs with Chelsea

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Lon­don

African su­per­star Sa­muel Eto’o will test him­self in English soc­cer af­ter Chelsea an­nounced on Thurs­day that he has joined the Pre­mier League gi­ant on a one- year con­tract.

The 32- yearold Cameroon striker ar­rives from Rus­sian side Anzhi Makhachkala on a free trans­fer, in a move that may sig­nal the end of Chelsea’s pur­suit of Manch­ester United striker Wayne Rooney.

Chelsea has had two bids for Rooney re­jected and man­ager Jose Mour­inho re­cently said he had a “Plan B” in case its pur­suit of the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional did not come off.

“I am very happy to be here, but also anx­ious be­cause I want to get play­ing as soon as pos­si­ble,” said Eto’o, who was pic­tured bran­dish­ing a Chelsea shirt on the club’s of­fi­cial web­site.

“It wasn’t a hard de­ci­sion. I saw the qual­i­ties Chelsea have, and I was very happy with Jose Mour­inho be­fore, so when the op­por­tu­nity came, I was very happy to take it.”

Eto’o pre­vi­ously worked un­der Mour­inho at In­ter Mi­lan and was a mem­ber of the team that claimed an un­prece­dented tre­ble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles in 2010.

The move also re­unites him with for­mer Anzhi team­mate Wil­lian, who com­pleted a switch to Chelsea in a deal re­port­edly worth 30 mil­lion pounds ($47 mil­lion) on Wed­nes­day.

Wil­lian and Eto’o are among a num­ber of play­ers to have been moved on by Anzhi af­ter the Rus­sian side’s bil­lion­aire owner, Suleiman Ke­r­i­mov, de­cided to re­struc­ture the club and dras­ti­cally shrink its bud­get.

Eto’o is ex­pected to com­pete with Fer­nando Tor­res, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba for a place at the tip of the Chelsea at­tack, al­though he played on the right flank un­der Mour­inho at In­ter.

A four-time African Foot­baller of the Year, Eto’o be­gan his ca­reer in Euro­pean soc­cer at Real Madrid, but joined Real Mal­lorca in 2000 af­ter a suc­cess­ful loan spell.

He lifted the Copa del Rey with Mal­lorca in 2003 be­fore join­ing Barcelona a year later.

The striker en­joyed stun­ning suc­cess at Barcelona, scor­ing in Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal tri­umphs in 2006 and 2009 and also claim­ing three Span­ish league ti­tles.

He sub­se­quently joined In­ter in 2009, as part of the deal that took Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic to Barcelona, and won his third Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle in his first sea­son at San Siro.

It made him the first player to win con­sec­u­tive Euro­pean tre­bles with two dif­fer­ent clubs.

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