Monday Kickoff: Eto’o reportedly announces int’l retirement; Schalke chief speaks on Boateng; and more

Samuel Etoo of Cameroon

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Not for the first time, but likely the last, Samuel Eto’o has reportedly played his final match with Cameroon.

The three-time UEFA Champions League winner and four-time African Player of the Year award honoree reportedly told his Cameroon teammates in the dressing room following their win-or-go-home 1-0 victory against Libya that he was finished playing international soccer at the age of 32. Despite the numerous rumors, Cameroon head coach Volke Finke has refused to confirm the veracity of the reports.

The victory on Sunday put Cameroon through to the play-off stages of African World Cup qualifying, but according to the reports, Eto’o won’t be a part of the squad competing for a World Cup place.

Eto’o moved this summer to Chelsea, reuniting with former head coach Jose Mourinho and making a substantial pay cut from his reported €20 million salary with Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. In his Cameroon career, Eto’o has made more than 112 appearances with 55 goals scored.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:

SCHALKE CHIEF CLAIMS BOATENG LEFT MILAN DUE TO RACISM

One of the shock transfer moves of the summer involved Ghanian international midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng moving back to Germany, joining Schalke 04 from AC Milan just days after putting the Italian side into the Champions League proper.

As many people tried to determine why Boateng would have left at that time, Schalke chief Peter Peters has claimed that the German-born midfielder left Italy due to racism. According to a quote from Peters in German publication Bild, Boateng had a deal with AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi that if Milan qualified for the Champions League, Boateng would be free to leave.

The former Tottenham player was subject to racist abuse a number of times from opposing fans, most notably during a January friendly match when he walked off the pitch in the middle of the match after opposing supporters chanted racist abuse whenever Boateng touched the ball.

BARCELONA HOPE MESSI CAN BE LEFT OFF NEXT ARGENTINE SQUAD

With Argentina likely to secure qualification for the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday, Barcelona are hoping that Lionel Messi won’t have to be part of the next Argentina squad.

The next qualifying matches take place October 11/15, with Argentina set to face Peru and Uruguay, respectively. However in Barcelona’s case, they face Osasuna on the 18th, and more importantly for them, a mid-week Champions League match on October 22 against AC Milan and the first “El Clasico” of the season on October 26 against Real Madrid.

Assuming Argentina do qualify for the World Cup following their match against last-place Paraguay, the Spanish club will begin discussions with the Argentine Football Association to see if Messi can be left off the next selection.

Since last April, Messi has struggled with a number of injuries, mostly a thigh problem that began to develop during the Champions League knockout round.

QUICK KICKS

Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun is set to sign for Getafe, after failing to earn a deal with English clubs West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace following his release from Chelsea this summer. (REPORT)

The Gazzetta Dello Sport understands that AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi is the highest paid player in Serie A, earning €6.5 million ($8.6 million) per season. (REPORT)

Marco Reus has been ruled out of Germany’s match against the Faroe Islands on Tuesday due to a stomach ailment. (REPORT)

According to Opta Stats, Welsh club Cardiff City have used the most English players (8) so far in the English Premier League. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you believe Cameroon can qualify for the World Cup without Eto’o? Do you believe that Boateng left due to racism? Do you see Messi being left off the next Argentina squad?

Share your thoughts below.

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7 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Eto’o reportedly announces int’l retirement; Schalke chief speaks on Boateng; and more

  1. Pingback: Monday Kickoff: Eto’o reportedly announces int’l retirement; Schalke chief speaks on Boateng; and more | halftimesoccer.com

  2. Dave says:

    When Cardiff City uses English players, do they count as imports and not helping the national team?

  3. Steven C says:

    “Peter Peters” — Who would do that to their kid?

  4. MiamiAl says:

    If Boateng wants to avoid racism on the field, he should leave the leave the entire continent of Europe all together…He should consider the MLS.