- Emmanuel Adebayor called in time after playing for two decades
- He enjoys a love-hate relationship with Arsenal fans after taunting them in 2009
- He left the team and scored against it in his first match at Manchester City
Togolese international and ex-Premier League player Emmanuel Adebayor has announced retirement from professional football.
Adebayor is now 39 and played for Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal. He announced the news on his Instagram page.
The brief clip featured a moment of his iconic goal for City against his old team Arsenal in 2009. This is undoubtedly the most memorable of his career.
He celebrated the score by sprinting across the pitch in front of the Arsenal fans. Adebayor described his football career as deeply fascinating.
“SEA, from the highs to the lows, my career as a professional athlete has been an incredible journey. Thank you to my fans for being there every step of the way. I’m feeling so grateful for everything, and excited for what’s to come!” he captioned the video.
Adebayor who played as striker enjoyed memorable moments with his past teams, including his 2008 win at Arsenal for African Footballer of the Year.
Further, he received five straight awards as Togo’s Footballer of the Year between 2005 and 2009. His retirement clip featured images of him wrapped in Togolese flag.
Going down history lane, Adebayor was a passenger on the Togo team bus that was targeted by terrorists in 2010 as it travelled to Angola for a match. The terror attack left nine individuals with injuries while three other people lost their lives.
His stint in England where he played for four Premier League Clubs netted him a total of 97 career goals. The Togolese spent much of his prime years in England, although he also had brief stints with Real Madrid in 2011. He also enjoyed time in France at the start of his career with Metz and Monaco.
After leaving Madrid, Adebayor returned to England where he spent three years at Tottenham and six months at Palace before relocating to Turkey at the beginning of 2017 to join Istanbul Basaksehir.
He also played for Kayserispor in Turkey before attempting his luck with Olimpia in Paraguay. Years later, he moved to Semassi in his home country where he wound up his career.
HOW MUCH DID ARSENAL SELL ADEBAYOR?
Adebayor’s decision to move to Manchester City infuriated Arsenal’s supporter base, and this deal dominated the summer of 2009. The striker had joined Arsenal for £7 million ($8.4 million) and played 142 games during his three and a half seasons there, scoring 62 goals. In a twist of events, Adebayor moved to Etihad in a deal worth £25 million ($26.5 million).
However, after openly considering a move to Real Madrid in 2008, his relationship with Arsenal supporters deteriorated. His decision to join City the following summer sparked intense controversy. In addition, his infamous celebration when he scored against the Gunners shortly after joining City also sparked much controversy.
WHY ARSENAL SOLD ADEBAYOR?
Adebayor maintains that the Gunners pushed him out of Emirates but Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger felt it was all for money. Adebayor acknowledges that he still harbours animosity towards Arsenal and Wenger due to how they handled the aftermath of his departure.
Yet Wenger disclosed the strategy he employed in 2009 to try to keep the striker at the club despite interest from City when speaking to the Ornstein and Chapman podcast. He used a similar strategy with plenty of players throughout the years, cautioning them against leaving the Emirates.
“It was a general guidance to me, to tell players that if you leave here, you don’t come back. It was a way to retain players, who sometimes said they wanted to see if the grass was greener somewhere else,” Wenger said on the podcast.
Speaking of Adebayor’s taunting of Arsenal fans when he scored against the team as a City player, Wenger felt this was the smartest move for him.
He said: “What I would say, is that wasn’t the best move on his part. But somewhere he was not convinced to leave, he felt a bit of resentment that I pushed him a little bit to go.”
Now retired, Adebayor leaves the scene with a legacy of a well-spent talent in his prime years. But his feelings for Arsenal are not changing any time soon.