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Feb 14, 2013

Eto'o: I could have joined PSG

Samuel Eto'o has told French radio station RMC that he could have been playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham at Paris Saint-Germain but a planned move to the club fell through.

• Hiddink: I'm not just here for cash

It was the second time Eto'o, 31, had seen his ambitions of joining the club thwarted after bureaucratic red tape prevented him from being part of the PSG youth academy when he arrived in France with his brothers as a teenager.

And the Anzhi Makhachhala striker revealed a second, more recent opportunity to move to the French capital had also come to nothing.

"My adventure with PSG started when I was young, but I didn't have the papers to allow me to join the club," he told ex-France international Luis Fernandez, now a radio host.

"There was the opportunity for me to come to PSG a little while ago, but it didn't work out for a number of reasons. But I'm a supporter of this great club.

"I had the chance to be part of this project. I'm not in a position to judge the work of the club's board, but it was important for a city like Paris to have a team like this. Everyone wants to come to Paris, and not only for the Champs-Elysees."

Although it now seems Eto'o may never don a PSG shirt, it is only a matter of time before David Beckham does after the former England midfielder took part in his first training session with the club on Wednesday.

"When he was presented to the media, David said he was still hungry to play," Eto'o said. "Everyone knows what a player he was. It's true that we haven't seen him play for a while. But we have to trust him. I wish him luck."

Eto'o, who has won the Champions League three times and is reportedly the best-paid player in the world, is the most prominent member of a growing foreign contingent in the Russian Premier League.

He said: "The leagues which get all the media coverage are in Spain, Italy, England and in France, but the Russian league is of a very high standard - and you'll see, in a few years, that it will be one of the best in Europe."

The Cameroon international also said he wanted to help revive the fortunes of his national team, explaining: "We have a lot of good players, a great generation. They need to be given the right conditions to be able to show their talent.

"You can't play in our stadium. For players of a certain level, it's difficult to play good football. And that's to say nothing of the state of the dressing rooms. Our travel conditions are catastrophic. Cameroon made us dream, but today I'm sad to see what's happening."

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