Fresh from his hat-trick in FC Internazionale Milano's 4-0 defeat of SV Werder Bremen, Samuel Eto'o insisted that his side must remain "humble" if they are to defend their European title.
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Samuel Eto'o was all smiles after scoring his first hat-trick for FC Internazionale Milano but the star of the memorable 4-0 defeat of SV Werder Bremen insisted that only by remaining "humble" will the European champions stand a chance of retaining the coveted trophy they won last year.
Eto'o, deployed as Inter's sole striker in the absence of Diego Milito, gave a master class in leading the line as he scored twice in six first-half minutes, set up Wesley Sneijder before the interval and crowned an outstanding display with his third nine minutes from time.
Despite his glittering performance, the Cameroon forward refused to get carried away by a first win of the campaign which leaves the Nerazzurri topping Group A on goal difference ahead of Tottenham Hotspur FC.
"It was a great match," he told UEFA.com. "When you win you're always happy, and when you score it makes you even happier. But the most important thing in football is to win because tonight I could have scored three and Wesley [Sneijder] could have scored and we still might have lost. Winning is all important."
The former FC Barcelona striker has begun the season in ominous form, scoring nine goals in all competitions, and has no intention of slowing down: "I'm delighted because it's the first time I've scored a hat-trick [for Inter] but I hope it's not the last." Neither does Eto'o expect a fourth European Champion Clubs' Cup winners' medal to fall into his lap, however. Indeed, the 29-year-old went as far as to suggest that there are stronger teams in the competition than the holders.
"We will remain humble because we know that there are sides out there that are better than us, so we will just take it one match at a time and we will go as far as it takes us. This Champions League is complicated because there are sides like Real Madrid, Barça, Manchester United.
"There are also sides like Tottenham, who are a very, very good side even if they do not get the same headlines as Manchester United. So we will stay humble and we will try to give our best so that we can go as far as possible in the competition." Rafael Benítez and his players will get an idea of just how good Spurs are when they welcome the London club to Milan for their next Group A assignment on 20 October.