Manaus (Brazil): Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o has vowed to respond to a series of allegations against him after the World Cup, claiming they are part of a plot to destabilise the team.
And the Chelsea striker did not rule himself out of Cameroon’s Group A match against Croatia at the Arena Amazonia stadium Wednesday, despite nursing a knee injury, reports Xinhua.
Eto’o has been the centre of controversy in recent months. In May he called Jose Mourinho a “puppet” after the Chelsea manager suggested the 33-year-old might in fact be older.
Newspaper reports have also accused the former Barcelona star of an extra-marital affair while he drew condemnation from Cameroon’s press for refusing to accept a symbolic flag as the team departed for Brazil.
“I would like to tell you what I really think but it is more important to talk about the next match and the rest of the World Cup,” Eto’o told reporters here Tuesday.
“We don’t want to go home after the group phase, even though a lot of people have wanted to destabilise us. People can say what they want. I don’t care.
“Believe me, after the World Cup I will respond to everything. I will give names of those who have made these accusations so that the national team and the country know who is responsible.”
Cameroon lost their opening World Cup match against Mexico 1-0 and another defeat Wednesday would eliminate them from the tournament.
Eto’o, who Sunday wrote on Twitter that he was unlikely to play against Croatia, gave a cryptic reply when asked about his fitness.
“I will do everything in my power to play Wednesday. I don’t know if I will or how many minutes I can play but the important thing is that the team stays strong,” Eto’o said.
“The team is more important than me. I believe in this team. If I start I will do my best. If I do not I will do my best from the bench. I’m not going to tell people (if I will play). We can’t talk about our strengths and weakness before a match. Even if I knew I would not tell you.”
Cameroon’s coach Volker Finke said his team remained upbeat despite the loss to Mexico.
“I think it’s very clear, very simple. Both teams have lost in the first match and that’s why there is one objective and that is to win,” Finke said.
“It is a do-or-die situation. We need to build on our team spirit. I am very confident in my players. We were obviously disappointed in the first match. We were hurt. We got better in the second half but we missed a few chances.
“We had a good training session this afternoon. It’s going to be a very important test. We are going there to win.”