Italian football is not what it used to be, new Sampdoria striker and four-times African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o said on Thursday.
The Cameroonian, who won the Serie A-Italian Cup-Champions League treble with Inter Milan in 2010, is back in Serie A after spending two years in Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala followed by 18 months in England with Chelsea and Everton.
"There is so much difference to when I last came to Italy," the 33-year-old Eto'o told reporters before adding that he had witnessed the start of the exodus of world-class players when he was at Inter.
"When I last came to Italy it was the moment that so many players were leaving, champions such as Kaka, Andriy Shevchenko, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.
"It's a crisis moment, there aren't the financial resources," Eto'o said of Serie A, "but football is still about what happens on the pitch and in the stadium. At the end of the day I hope I can help Sampdoria win."
Eto'o, who left Everton earlier this week, announced his international retirement after the 2014 World Cup having won 118 caps and scored a record 56 goals for Cameroon.
He has won four league titles, seven domestic cups, a FIFA Club World Cup medal and three Champions League crowns, two with Barcelona.
Sampdoria are joint fifth alongside Lazio, two points behind third place which earns a spot in next season's Champions League playoff round.
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