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Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 14:35 UK

Eto'o eyes Inter debut

New Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o
Eto'o could make his debut for Inter Milan in Saturday's Italian Super Cup

New Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o could make his debut for the club in Saturday's Italian Super Cup against Lazio in Beijing.

With or without the 28-year-old Cameroon striker, last season's Serie A champions plan to make a strong statement with a win in the traditional Italian season opener, Inter managing director Ernesto Paolillo said.

"A win for us on Saturday means we'll be kicking off the season with force," Paolillo told reporters in the Chinese capital.

"It will instill a prevailing force inside all of us on the team to play well."

I trust him and his team-mates trust him

Jose Mourinho

Inter acquired Eto'o from Barcelona in a deal finalised last month which also involved Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazil's Maxwell joining Barcelona.

Eto'o was part of the Barcelona team that won last season's unprecedented treble of Champions League, Spanish league and Spanish Cup and scored more than 100 goals for the Catalan club.

Eto'o missed the first two weeks of preseason training with Inter and coach Jose Mourinho told reporters earlier this week his striker was "not in top condition."

"But I trust him and his team-mates trust him, so he will work hard this week to be available," Mourinho said after Inter's first training session in Beijing.

Italian football chiefs hope staging the traditional season opener in China will boost global interest in Italian football, overshadowed in recent years by the English and Spanish leagues.

"We hope that by creating a series of exchange programs, China will have a better understanding of Inter and Italian football," Paolillo said.

It is the third time in the Super Cup's 22-year history that the match will be contested outside of Italy.

It was previously held in Libya and the United States.

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see also
Eto'o denies Mourinho rift
29 Jul 09 |  African
Ibrahimovic seals Barcelona move
28 Jul 09 |  Europe
Eto'o the Great
28 May 09 |  African
Man City discuss Eto'o with Barca
01 May 09 |  Man City

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