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Sports News
Barca to meet over Eto''''o outburst 2/14/2007
Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard and sporting director Txiki Begiristain will meet on Wednesday to discuss Samuel Eto''''o''''s public outburst.
The Cameroon international criticised the Dutch coach as well as his Brazil team-mate Ronaldinho on Tuesday.

"Rijkaard and Begiristain will analyse the situation and take the measures they feel appropriate," said the club''''s communications director Jordi Badia.

Eto''''o slammed Rijkaard for saying he refused to play as a substitute.

The striker was asked to come on as a late substitute during Barcelona''''s 2-0 victory at home to Racing Santander

Rijkaard claimed the 25-year-old, who has recently returned after four months out with a knee injury, "didn''''t want to" come on as a late substitute.

But Eto''''o said: "Telling a news conference I didn''''t want to play is the behaviour of a bad person.

"I have always thought about the group first. That is what hurt me most."

Rijkaard had asked Eto''''o to come on in the closing minutes at the Nou Camp but the striker apparently rejected the request.

"Eto''''o warmed up but afterwards told (assistant coach) Eusebio he did not want to come on," said Rijkaard after the game.

"I think it''''s a shame because every minute, every moment, can be important... I haven''''t spoken with him but I''''m always prepared to talk to the players."

There''''s a division in the changing room between two clans

Samuel Eto''''o

Ronaldinho was also critical of Eto''''o after the game, suggesting the striker had been inconsiderate to his team-mates.

But Eto''''o responded: "If a team-mate says that you must think of the team, it''''s up to him to think of the team. Personally I always think first about the group and then money."

Barcelona''''s victory over Racing Santander, thanks to two goals from Ronaldinho, saw them open up a three-point lead at the top of La Liga.

They are also through to face Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League, with Rijkard''''s side hosting the first leg on 21 February.

However, Eto''''o, last season''''s top scorer in La Liga, said a major rift had developed at the Catalan giants.

"There''''s a division in the changing room between two clans: one is the president''''s and the other is someone else''''s," he said.

"This is not my war, this is a war. I''''m in the middle of a war between two people and I''''m the one who is taking all the punishment. But I will return and return to play."

Reports suggest the rift is between supporters of president Joan Laporta and those of former vice-president Sandro Rosell, who left the club after a disagreement with Laporta.

Laporta earlier spoke out in support of Eto''''o, denying the striker had refused to play on Sunday.

"His knee needs time to warm up and he didn''''t have enough time. He preferred to be careful," Laporta told Spanish newspaper Marca.

"He didn''''t do anything inappropriate or wrong. There is no way it can be deduced that Eto''''o refused to play soccer for Barcelona."

Eto''''o did not attend training on Monday, choosing instead to work in the gym - apparently because of a painful knee.



 
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