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Chelsea striker offers former teammates €200,000 as incentive to avoid relegation

Samuel Eto'o

Former Chelsea star Samuel Eto'o offers incentive for Anzhi.

The club Samuel Eto'o left behind in late August are a shadow of their former selves, and the forward appears to feel quite bad about it.

Eto'o was sold off by Anzhi Makhakhala as part of a 'downsizing' of their owner's investment in the club, with the Cameroonian at the time the best paid player in the world.

Several other stars were sold on, and the effect on the pitch has been damaging so far.

Anzhi were a club who qualified for Europa League football a year ago, but this campaign has been a disaster.

With 20 games played in the Russian Premier League, Anzhi sit disastrously in last position, with a paltry 11 points - and just one win.

They are five points adrift from an automatic relegation spot, with two going down for certain, and the two teams finishing above playing a play-off to decide their fate.

Keen to show he still cares about the travails of his former club, Chelsea forward Eto'o has offered his former teammates a financial incentive to avoid the drop.

Russian newspaper Izvestia report that the striker has promised to pay €200,000 if the club remain in the top division.

"The Cameroonian striker said he was willing himself to allocate €200 thousand for the whole team as a bonus for the players to perform the main task of the season - to maintain status in the Premier League.

"To date, the main squad of Anzhi includes 28 football players. Thus, each player of Dagestan club, if the goal is reached, will cost the star striker around €7,000. Eto'o's money will have to be distributed evenly among all team players."

Whether the pledge has any effect remains to be seen. Perhaps it's a shrewd offer knowing he won't have to pay out.

For Eto'o the money is small fry, the figure is less than the amount Eto'o used to make at Anzhi in a single week. An incentive of €7,000 each is unlikely to tempt an individual player to go the extra mile - not when they are big earners already.

But it could be important in showing the team their former talisman still cares, and they are not in the middle of a doomed season. With 10 games to go, the troubled club have their fate in their own hands, and any incentive is surely better than none at all.

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