Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o has urged Barcelona to look for more players who can blend with the club’s playing philosophy so that they will be less dependent on Lionel Messi.
Messi was hoping to leave Camp Nou recently, but such a move proved complicated due to technicalities on his Barcelona agreement regarding his exit at the end of the 2019-20 season.
These circumstances led to Messi admitting to Goal, that he was committed to staying in the Catalan capital, which pleased Eto’o who played for Barcelona between 2004 and 2009, scoring 130 goals and winning eight titles there.
“I am happy because my son Messi has stayed at his house, but at Barca, we need other players with Blaugrana DNA. Messi alone is not enough,” Eto’o said at a La Liga event as reported by TuttoMercato.
“You need to look for players on the market with tiki-taka style and not box to box.”
The 2020-21 La Liga season kicks off on Friday but Barcelona, under the watch of new boss Ronald Koeman, will tackle Villarreal on September 27. Eto’o wants to see the Blaugrana win the title this time having lost it last season to Real Madrid by five points.
The Cameroonian also hopes his former club Mallorca – who he played for between 2000 and 2004, scoring 70 goals and won the 2003 Copa del Rey, returns back to the top-flight having been relegated by finishing 19th last season.
“I want Barcelona to win the championship and I hope that my Mallorca returns to the top division,” he said.
When quizzed on who would be the standout player for the upcoming season, Eto’o mentioned Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard. The latter failed to hit the heights in the Spanish capital, Madrid last term following his €100 million move from Chelsea.
“I would like to see Sergio Busquets back at the highest level, Barcelona always wins when Busquets is in good form,” Eto’o continued.
“And then I say Eden Hazard: I played with Chelsea and I'm not afraid to say that Lionel Messi is worth it to me.”
On the best teammate of his career, Eto’o revealed: “Iniesta is the best player I have played with, for me, he is the one who best interprets the game of football ever.”