“Sammy, shut up mate, you don’t have 45 cars.”
Aiden McGeady has been reflecting on his career in an interview to do in an entertaining interview with the Open Goal podcast. The former Republic of Ireland winger, currently on the books of Sunderland, spoke about his career to date and the colourful characters he came across.
McGeady opened up on his time with Celtic, Spartak Moscow, Everton, Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland. When at Everton, the Glaswegian was a teammate of Samuel Eto’o, the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan forward. McGeady said Eto’o was the ultimate ‘big-time’ player.
Aiden McGeady on Samuel Eto’o.
“One day I was talking to him and he’d been to Anzhi in Russia and was on 20 million after-tax,” McGeady said about Eto’o, who played for Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011. The Cameroon striker was reportedly him the highest-paid player in world football at the time.
“The (Anzhi) owner bought him a Bugatti for his birthday. So, one day I asked him about the Bugatti in Russia and he said, ‘Yeah but I have two, two Bugattis. I bought one myself and got one from the owner.’
“He said he had 45 cars and the thing I would be straight up and say to him, ‘Sammy shut up mate, you don’t have 45 cars’. But he said he had some in Milan, Paris, London.
“I asked whether he had the Bugatti here and he said yeah, so I told him to bring it to training. He said, ‘My friend, Everton. I can’t bring a Bugatti to Everton’.
“But, the next day, he brought the Bugatti in. Legend.”
“Eto’o was just so eye-opening.”
McGeady also went on to tell a humorous story about Eto’o’s attitude to life at Everton.
“He’d been at Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid – what a player. He probably still had it but probably lost his legs a bit, not as quick as he was.
“Still loads of ability, but I think he thought he’d come here [Everton] and play. He was kind of in and out the team, Martinez would play him one game and next game he’d be dropped. We’d play Lukaku, Mirallas or Arouna Kone.
“But we played in the Europa League, I can’t remember who, and Sammy was on the bench. He didn’t have any shorts or socks or boots on – he had joggies on but didn’t have any of his kit on.
“Graeme Jones, the assistant manager, called him to come on. So I’m sitting next to him, and he’s going to the kit man, ‘Can you go in and get my boots, shinpads, socks’, everything!
“10 minutes went by and he was putting on his socks so slowly, it was embarrassing! He was putting on his socks and Graeme Jones told him to hurry up.
“And Sammy was like, ‘Hey, this man here, the name?’. I was like, ‘Sammy, that’s the assistant manager!’.
“Classic! He was quite outspoken, obviously he would be, but he was hilarious.”
(Originally published on November 4, 2020).