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August 21, 2006

Ronaldinho supports Eto'o

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Ronaldinho always stands by his friends. Indeed, he has defended his Barcelona team mate Samuel Eto'o for his decision not to celebrate Sunday's victory in the Spanish Super Cup after being replaced by new signing Eidur Gudjohnsen at halftime.

The Cameroon striker, top scorer in the Spanish league last season with 26 goals, left the Nou Camp Stadium before the end of Barcelona's 3-0 victory and did not pick up his winner's medal.

"What happened is understandable because he's the sort of player that wants to be on the field all the time and if he isn't he's unhappy," Ronaldinho expressed on Monday.

"I believe that it's better that he's like that than if he didn't mind not playing and we all hope that he continues to retain the same hunger to play. And these things are best sorted out in the dressing room."

Furthermore, Barcelona's coach Frank Rijkaard had also played down the incident in his post-match news conference on Sunday.

"It is true he left early," he admitted. "After a game emotions are running high and it is better to sleep on it and talk about it the following day."

The "Blaugrana" team picked up where they left off last season with a scintillating display against King's Cup winners Espanyol. A great header from Xavi and two well crafted goals from Deco allowed them to ease their way to a 4-0 aggregate victory over their city rivals.

"Barca played well and there were some moments of spectacular football," Rijkaard explained. "However, it was only one encounter and we have to keep working hard. I'm very pleased that Barca made such a great impression, though."