Pep Guardiola wants to thank Samuel Eto’o for his service to Barcelona as the Catalans prepare to face their former hero on Wednesday night in Champions League play.
Barca take on Inter Milan in the Champions League having swapped strikers in the summer, and while Zlatan Ibrahimovic welcomed his move, the Cameroon striker has aired his disquiet.
During the transfer saga Guardiola stated that he had a feeling that Eto’o should leave and that has riled the striker, but the coach is now hopeful they will be on good terms.
“I hope to say hello and thank him for everything he gave us over the last five years,” he told reporters at a press conference.
“It’s not easy to stop Eto’o. It’s true that I know him but it’s always difficult to control players like him, with his quality. He’s a great player with a champion’s mentality”.
Guardiola is expecting a tough test against the Serie A champions and recognised that Barcelona will have to be at their best to come away with a win.
“It’ll be a tough test, a very difficult match. Inter have a lot of strength. They’re strong in all aspects. We’ll have to play a complete match,” he continued.
“We’ll try and do the same as always – get the ball and attack. We have to try and give people a good match in a marvellous stadium. We respect this style of football and we’re coming here to win and do what we know.
“It’s fantastic for us to be able play matches like these that guarantee a great spectacle.”
When asked whether Barca and Inter were going to be playing their games to see who finishes top, Guardiola insisted that Dynamo Kiev and Rubin Kazan would be involved.
“Absolutely not. We’re in the toughest group, with four champions of their respective leagues. It’s a group where there could be a lot of upsets,” he added.