‘It was me that made Barça win, not Messi’ – Samuel Eto’o criticises Pep Guardiola at Barcelona

Samuel Etoo Barcelona 2009

Samuel Eto’o has laid into Pep Guardiola’s treatment of him at the Camp Nou, saying he was pushed aside for Lionel Messi too early.

Eto’o spent five years at Barcelona from 2004-09, with Guardiola assuming control of the Catalan giants in the Cameroonian’s final season of 2008/09.

The striker had scored 94 goals in 147 games for Barça in the four seasons before Guardiola’s arrival, then sunk 36 in 52 games for the current Manchester City chief’s debut season at the helm.

Barcelona won a La Liga-Champions League double in 2008/09, but with a young Lionel Messi assuming greater influence in the first team, Eto’o was sold to Inter Milan as part of the deal that brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Camp Nou.

Eto’o believes Guardiola treated him poorly and suggests he – not Messi – was the true driver behind their dominant campaign.

"Pep has lived his whole life in Barcelona, but in the years I spent in Barça, he didn't understand the team,” Eto’o told beIN SPORTS. “He didn't live the life of our team.

“I said to Guardiola, ‘You'll apologise to me, because it's me that will make Barça win, not Messi’.

“It was a situation back then.

“Messi would come later but you can ask Xavi, Andres Iniesta and all the others – that was my era.

“It was me that made Barça win, and Guardiola would ask me for forgiveness.”

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