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 By Mike Whalley
Aug 27, 2014

Samuel Eto'o over Mourinho spat

Samuel Eto'o explained how manager Roberto Martinez persuaded him to join Everton, as the Cameroonian striker signs on a two-year deal.

LIVERPOOL -- Samuel Eto'o has indicated that he wants to put his fall-out with Jose Mourinho behind him after joining Everton.

Eto'o signed a two-year deal with the Toffees on Tuesday, having been released by Chelsea boss Mourinho at the end of last season.

Mourinho was the Cameroon international's manager at Inter Milan when they won the Champions League in 2010, and brought him to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.

But the coach angered Eto'o in February by appearing to question the striker's age when he was filmed secretly by French TV channel Canal Plus saying: "I have Eto'o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?"

Jose Mourinho has managed at Eto'o at Inter Milan and Chelsea.

Eto'o, who turned 33 in March, responded by calling Mourinho a "fool" and a "puppet." But the striker insists now that he is grateful to Mourinho for giving him the chance to play in the Premier League.

"The only thing I have to say regarding Jose Mourinho is to thank him," Eto'o said at his first news conference as an Everton player. "It's down to Jose Mourinho that I had the opportunity to be accepted into the Premier League and play some great matches. I thank him for that."

Eto'o, who scored nine goals in 21 league appearances for Chelsea last season, could make his Everton debut against them in the Premier League on Saturday.

But the striker says he is not thinking about making a point against Mourinho's side.

He said: "I'm not too concerned about the fact that it's against my ex-team. I think the important thing is to integrate with my new teammates and get myself ready during training to make sure I'm ready for the match if called on.

"Even if I don't feature, it's important for me to get into the head of the team as I train and prepare for each match."

Eto'o has chance of being involved against Chelsea because Romelu Lukaku is battling to recover from a toe injury that has troubled him during the opening two weeks of the season.

Manager Roberto Martinez, though, is aware of the need to build up his new signing's match fitness.

Martinez said: "I tried to have that conversation with him. Being realistic, I would have loved him to have 10 or 11 before putting him in a competitive environment.

"I learned quite quickly that I was wasting my time with that conversation, because he wants to be helpful to the team straight away. He's working today. Everything will come down to what condition he is in over the next two to three days.

"What I'm pleased about is that, with the international break coming, we'll be able to catch up and speed up his adaptation period so he's ready to go out on a football pitch."

Martinez, meanwhile, has played down the suggestion that his team have fitness issues after they lost a two-goal lead in the final seven minutes to draw 2-2 at home to Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

Everton had conceded an 86th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Leicester in their opening game, but the manager indicated that he had no time for criticism of the stamina of his players.

He said: "I enjoy any sort of comments and analysis. I've got a real advantage because I have all the stats and inside information, so I'll keep all the information for myself. I really enjoy people guessing from the outside."

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