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Fri Apr 25 09:06:23 SAST 2014

Eto'o hails Anzhi's winning start

Sapa-AFP | 23 July, 2012 12:320 Comments
Spartak Moscow v Anzhi Makhachkala - Premier League
Samuel Eto'o of Anzhi Makhachkala celebrates after scoring a goal during the Russian Football League Championship match against Spartak Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium on April 22, 2012 in Moscow, Russia
Image by: Dmitry Korotayev / Getty Images

The skipper of Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala and Cameroon star striker Samuel Eto’o said on Monday he was pleased with his team’s winning start into the league’s new season.

“It was very important to win the opening match,” the forward, who fulfilled a promise to Makhachkala fans he would score in Sunday’s match with Kuban Krasnodar which Anzhi won 2-1.

“I promised I would score on Sunday and I did it. But our team’s win is much more important than any of my individual achievements.” 

Anzhi — by far the biggest spenders in the Russian Premier League, who are managed by Dutch guru Guus Hiddink — are hoping that their bulging wallet will help them win glory this season and a place in the lucrative Champions’ League.

On Sunday Anzhi were trailing 1-0 after their Brazilian full back Joao Carlos sent the ball into his own net attempting to clear Kuban’s Ivory Coast defender Igor Lolo’s pass into the area in the opening minute.

“It’s football,” commented Eto’o, who is reportedly the world’s best-paid footballer with an annual salary of 20 million euros (£15.5 million, $24.3 million).

“This blunder is just a part of what makes football a beautiful and interesting sight. It was hard but we managed to battle back and grab all three points to take the winning start into new season.” 

“The season-opening matches are often hard and Sunday’s showdown was not an exception. I hope we will play better in the next matches.” 

Eto’o and Ivory Coast forward Lacina Traore netted one apiece before the break to give Anzhi a morale-boosting 2-1 win, setting themselves up for a return Europa League second qualifying round match with Hungarian outfit Honved on Thursday.

Anzhi won 1-0 their home encounter with Honved with Brazilian midfielder Jucilei da Silva scoring the winning goal.

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