Success and presidential elections are never a good mix, especially not when a club with the stature of Barcelona and a press as willing to publish gossip as that of Spain is concerned.
Amy Lawrence does an excellent job of covering the ‘crisis’, pointing out that Rijkaard and Ronaldinho had both publicly criticised Eto’o for putting himself ahead of the team, which is fair play but begs the important question – why not keep this internal?
Eto’o reply (that he was denied the previously agreed-upon run-out) was overblown as well – he pointed to infighting and Ronaldinho’s ‘privileged’ status. Fair grudges, but once again, why not keep this internal?
Eto’o has ego issues. Ronaldinho is a prima donna who has to be handled with care. Frank Rijkaard is a smart man, passionate, prone to rashness at times but above all an intelligent manager who gets the most out of his players. If Barcelona were to lose any of the three, it would a major step backwards.
Will Eto’o go to Chelsea (I was talking about this with Azar yesterday and then I read Amy mention it this morning)? I don’t think so, mainly because they already have a finisher in Sheva and Eto’o ego is too big for Mourinho’s Chelsea. Eto’o could still go, because at the moment Ronny and Rijkaard look unlikely to leave and Eto’o is not a compromising man.
Will Ronaldinho go to Milan? His agent is asking for a bigger contract, and Barca aren’t too happy about it. Still, it would like a huge bid to pry Ronny away from Barca, and Milan would rather have Kaka and Ronny and Ronaldo play in the same team than lose Kaka to get Ronny. Unlikely, in my view.
Will Rijkaard go? Not if Barca are smart. For Barcelona to lose Rijkaard would be like Real Madrid losing Del Bosque – things will go backwards very quickly.