UPDATE 2-Soccer-Valentine's Day reconciliation at Barcelona
(updates with Rijkaard, Begiristain quotes)
MADRID Feb 14 (Reuters) - Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho made a public display of reconciliation by embracing as Barcelona tried on Wednesday to heal the rifts caused by the Cameroon striker's recent outburst.
The team mates hugged each other at the start of training, a day after Eto'o had criticised the Brazilian playmaker and coach Frank Rijkaard.
Eto'o hit out at Rijkaard after the Dutchman said he had refused to come on as a substitute in Sunday's 2-0 victory over Racing Santander. "Telling a news conference I didn't want to play is the behaviour of a bad person," the striker told reporters.
The Cameroon international also made a thinly-veiled criticism of Ronaldinho, who had suggested Eto'o should put the interests of the team before his own.
But club captain Carles Puyol said on Wednesday the whole matter had been a misunderstanding and the problem solved.
"We had a meeting between the captains of the team (Puyol and Xavi) and then spoke to Ronaldinho and Eto'o because it was an important enough matter to talk over together," Puyol told a news conference.
"Ronnie's (Ronaldinho's) comments were misinterpreted. When they both met today it was clear Ronnie did not want to criticise Eto'o. Eto'o has no problem with Rijkaard either."
Puyol denied suggestions of a rift among Barcelona's squad.
"People think there is a time bomb in the dressing room but that isn't true," said the defender. "Rijkaard has got the team under control, Eto'o has a good relationship with the rest of the group and the atmosphere is good.
"Outside the dressing room there may be divisions but not inside. We need to be 100 percent united as we have got a difficult set of matches coming up."
Rijkaard and sporting director Txiki Begiristain echoed Puyol's comments, saying no disciplinary action would be taken against Eto'o.
"Frank said no punishments were necessary because he was confident the team could sort these things out themselves," said Begiristain.
"This won't affect my relationship with Eto'o," said Rijkaard. "We have to look to the future."
The comments by Eto'o prompted local media to speculate the rivalry with Ronaldinho could force one of them to leave.
Spanish media also reported the political in-fighting at the club may lead to Rijkaard quitting when the season ends, with his former team AC Milan tipped as a possible destination.
Eto'o, returning to action after four months out with a knee injury, said he refused to come on as a late sub against Santander because he needed a longer warm up.
He added he was a doubt for next week's Champions League first knockout round first leg against Liverpool.
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