The former striker played alongside the Argentina captain at the Spanish outfit, with the latter making his debut when the Central African was already an established player at the club.
In a recent interview, a journalist posed a question to the ex-Indomitable Lion as quoted by the Mirror: “You talk about Messi, what can [Ansu Fati] learn from Messi? You obviously played with him.
It is at this point the 40-year-old replied sharply, “No. He played with me; it is different. Messi played with me. I did not play with Messi. In my time, Messi played with me. It is totally different. It is totally different.”
Eto’o joined Barcelona from Real Mallorca in 2004 after he had played 155 matches for the latter, scoring 67 goals in the process.
Then Barca coach Frank Rijkaard signed him, and he went on to form a formidable team with Brazilian Ronaldinho and Frenchman Ludovic Giuly, with Messi coming in later on.
He played five seasons for the club, playing a total of 199 matches, scoring 130 goals in the process.
Messi gradually grew and somewhat overshadowed the Cameroonian, who left in 2009 for Inter Milan. There, he played 102 matches, scoring 33 goals, and went on to retire in 2019.
Recently, Eto’o referred to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as gods when he was making a remark on PSG and France hotshot Kylian Mbappe.
“Cristiano is another god. Together with Messi, they are the players who mark current football with the highest grades. But another God is coming for when Messi and Cristiano get tired of giving us these joys. That new god will be Kylian Mbappe,” he said.
He went on to express his confidence about Messi staying at the Spanish outfit when reports of his exit were rife.
“I can’t imagine Leo with another shirt. It is his club, his home, his love. I do not think that his continuity is due to a question of money. Leo is Barcelona and Barcelona is Messi.
“I know [president Joan] Laporta is preparing a reliable, interesting project for him.”