Samuel Eto'o's ability to deliver when it matters most was a key reason FC Internazionale Milano signed him and he is determined to live up to that billing again against PFC CSKA Moskva.
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Samuel Eto'o's ability to deliver when it matters most was one of the main reasons FC Internazionale Milano swapped him for Zlatan Ibrahimović last summer.
Eto'o scored in FC Barcelona's UEFA Champions League final triumphs in both 2006 and 2009 and delivered another decisive blow a fortnight ago when he struck the only goal of the second leg at Chelsea FC to earn the Nerazzurri a quarter-final place. As Inter prepare to face PFC CKSA Moskva in the first leg at San Siro, the 29-year-old Cameroonian international striker believes his side are ready to raise their game even higher.
"I hope the game in London is not our best of the season," Eto'o said. "The best game must always be the next one. I was important in London because I scored the winning goal, but my team-mates were just as important and so were the fans who followed us there. We will only be able to reach our objectives if everybody pushes in the same direction."
For those who felt Inter were fortunate to be drawn against a CSKA side short of experience at this level, Eto'o had this to say: "I know for sure this game won't be easier than the one in London. I hope to play and play well to help the team to earn a good advantage ahead of the return."
CSKA may not boast the famous names of the Chelsea side beaten by Inter earlier this month, but according to Eto'o that does not mean they should be taken any less seriously. "I know [Mark] González well because he played in Spain when I was there, but at this stage of the competition I don't think big names are important. You need to respect all your opponents. This is a crucial game for both teams. Both will give everything they have to reach the semi-finals."
While Eto'o has made winning this competition a habit, Inter are looking to lift the trophy for the first time in 45 years. Eto'o's advice is not to look any further ahead than the next encounter. "I cannot compare this [Inter] team with those of past seasons, simply because I wasn't here. I just think we have a good chance of qualifying. A 1-0 win would be a good result, 2-0 would be perfect. The most important thing, however, is not to concede at home."