Eto'o open to romantic Real Mallorca return to kick-start coaching career

Oleh Matt Dorman 18 Oktober 2019 4
Eto'o open to romantic Real Mallorca return to kick-start coaching career

Samuel Eto'o believes he reached his peak as a player at Real Mallorca and is now looking to the club as a potential launch pad for his coaching career.

The former Barcelona, Inter and Chelsea striker retired from football in September following a glittering career spanning more than two decades.

He won the Champions League and LaLiga three times each after battling back from rejection at Real Madrid, who let a young Eto'o leave for Mallorca in 2000 following a successful loan spell.

Eto'o scored 54 goals in 128 games during his permanent spell with the Balearic Islands-based outfit, a period he regards as the best of his playing days.

"I reached my top level when at Mallorca," said the Cameroon great, who moved to Barca in 2004.

"We were a group of normal guys who had to compete against the great players at Real Madrid and Barcelona.

"But we did it very well, we were proud of defending our jersey and our island.

"At Barcelona it was about opening the eyes of the world, making it known that a kid coming from where I came from, when given the same opportunities as the others, could do well.

"It was tough at Mallorca but when I got to Barcelona I saw that we could not fail, we were a group of unbelievable players and we just had to win."

Further spells in England, Italy, Russia, Turkey and Qatar expanded Eto'o's horizons and list of contacts ahead of a move into management.

The 38-year-old has stated his desire to win the Champions League as a coach, but those big ambitions could have humble beginnings back at Mallorca, where his teenage son, Etienne, is on the books.

"Now I want to prepare for new challenges," Eto'o said.

"I love football, so I would like some day to be able to coach at the highest level. It could be my Mallorca or some other big team.

"I have had the fortune to win things as a player and I would like to do that again as a coach."

Mallorca, who finished as high as third in the top flight with Eto'o leading the line, won promotion back to LaLiga last season.

Vicente Moreno's men have collected two wins from eight games to sit 18th ahead of Saturday's home game against leaders Madrid.

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Matt Dorman

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