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25.05.2007 Football News

Eto'o sings praises of Drogba


Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has hailed Didier Drogba's contribution to the Chelsea cause this season.

Drogba finished as the Premiership's top scorer with 20 league goals, as well as netting 13 more in cup competitions to establish himself as one of the leading strikers in Europe.

Barcelona star Eto'o has not always seen eye-to-eye with Drogba after the Ivorian claimed he was the better player of the two before the Nations Cup semi-final in February 2006.

But Eto'o seemed keen to bury the hatchet after being impressed by the former Marseille man in Saturday's FA Cup final, in which Drogba netted an extra-time winner as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0.

He said: "I saw some of the game and Drogba won it for them. He has been doing that all season and is a very, very, very important player for Chelsea."

Eto'o believes his African counterpart is playing the best football of his career since joining Jose Mourinho's side in 2004.

"He has had a great season for them, his best since joining Chelsea, and it is just a shame that they couldn't get to the Champions League final or win the championship, because he had a fantastic year," he added.

Eto'o admits he was disappointed not to make the Champions League final himself for a second year running and said he would have liked to have come up against his old rival Drogba in Athens.

"I was hoping to play in the final, so it was very disappointing to lose (to Liverpool in the quarter-finals).

"But he (Drogba) was a lot closer. It would have been good to meet in the final, but it will have to be some other time," he said.

Eto'o and Drogba have gone head-to-head for the last four African Player of the Year awards - with the Barcelona star winning three and the Chelsea striker one.