Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o has compared Juan Mata with Barcelona great Andres Iniesta. [Reuters]

Samuel Eto'o has heaped praise on out-of-favour midfielder Juan Mata, comparing the Chelsea midfielder with his former Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta.

Mata has struggled to win over new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and despite impressing in the 2-0 League Cup victory over Arsenal, he found himself on the substitutes bench for the most recent Champions League tie against Schalke.

The Spain international may still have to win over Mourinho but it seems he has a huge supporter in his new teammate Eto'o.

"Mata is another Iniesta. He is incredible and also is an amazing person," the Cameroon international told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

When Eto'o played for Barcelona he never hid the fact that Iniesta was his favourite player because the Barcelona star got the very best out of him through his ability to pick a pass.

Eto'o thinks that at Chelsea there is no one who can do this job better than Mata but is not his place to tell his manager who should be selected, saying: "It is a Mourinho decision and I cannot do anything about that."

Eto'o, who scored a brace in Chelsea's Champions League victory over Schalke, also praised Mourinho for helping him score the opening goal.

"He deserves the merit for my first goal. It was thanks to Jose. He did not stop shouting at me to press the goalkeeper, I did and then I scored thanks to a little bit of luck," he revealed.

The former Barcelona striker also explained how he signed for the west London club last summer after a conversation with Mourinho: "I had some troubles at Anzhi, my old club, so I spoke to Mourinho and everything was very quick. We had already worked together at Inter and we had a good relationship."

Eto'o has scored just three goals in eleven games since he arrived at Chelsea but was handed a chance in the starting team against Schalke because Fernando Torres was injured, an opportunity which he took full advantage of.

"I am happy more now after scoring two goals," added Eto'o. "When a striker scores he is always happy."