Biography

Personal information

Full name Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor
Date of birth 26 February 1984 (age 27)
Place of birth Lomé, Togo
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Striker

Club information

Current club

Tottenham Hotspur

(on loan from Manchester City)

Number 10

Senior career*

Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1998 Sporting Club de Lomé 7 (6)
1999–2001 Metz B 18 (4)
2001–2003 Metz 44 (15)
2003–2006 Monaco 79 (18)
2006–2009 Arsenal 105 (46)
2009– Manchester City 34 (15)
2010–2011 → Real Madrid (loan) 9 (2)

National team

2000–2010 Togo 38 (16)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 March 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

† National team caps and goals correct as of 11 June 2010

Early career

Born in Togo to Nigerian parents of the Yoruba ethnic group, he began his career in his homeland playing for Sporting Club de Lomé. He made it to the U-15 level, and was spotted by French club Metz. After a trial, Adebayor joined the club in 1999 and played at the U-17 level for two years before joining the second team.

In his first season, he played nine games and scored twice. In the 2002–03 season, Adebayor scored 17 goals in 35 games. He signed a new contract with Monaco in 2003, and he scored seven goals in 17 appearances, helping them reach the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final with two goals in 10 games.

Arsenal

On 13 January 2006, Adebayor signed for Arsenal for a reported &3m. He was given the nickname "Baby Kanu" due to his resemblance to former Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu, whom Adebayor had idolised as a youth. On 4 February 2006, Adebayor made his Arsenal debut in a Premiership match at Birmingham City and scored after 21 minutes, with Arsenal winning 2–0. At the end of his first season for the Gunners he had scored four goals in ten matches. However, Adebayor was cup-tied for Arsenal's 2005–06 Champions League campaign as they reached the final against Barcelona, having appeared for Monaco in the qualifying rounds of the competition.

Adebayor scored Arsenal's winning goal against Manchester United to give Arsenal a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, their first league win of the 2006–07 season. Earlier in the game, Adebayor was brought down in the six-yard box to earn Arsenal a penalty, which was taken by Gilberto Silva and saved. On 8 November 2006, Adebayor scored the only goal of the match to send Arsenal into the quarterfinals of the League Cup against Everton.

He was sent off in Arsenal's 2–1 Carling Cup final loss to Chelsea. He was shown the red card after a fracas towards the end of the match involving both Chelsea and Arsenal players. It was alleged that he had thrown a punch at Frank Lampard. The FA subsequently gave him an additional one-match ban and a fine of £7,500 for failing to leave the field of play immediately, as well as a three-match ban for the red card. Adebayor and Lampard both denied it.

On 19 January, after scoring twice against Fulham, the fans sang, "Adebayor, Adebayor, give him the ball, and he will score". After scoring a penalty during the 3–1 win over Portsmouth, his two goals against Tottenham helped Arsenal win 3–1 in the first North London derby of the season. Adebayor then scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal in a 5–0 home win against Derby County on 22 September; this was the second-ever hat-trick scored at the Emirates. He was involved in a controversial incident on 22 January in which he clashed with teammate Nicklas Bendtner seven minutes from the end of a 5–1 League Cup semifinal defeat to Tottenham. Bendtner appeared to cut his nose in the clash, for which Adebayor apologised the following day. Three days later he scored the hundredth goal at the Emirates during the side's 3–0 FA Cup victory over Newcastle United. Starting on 4 March against Milan, Adebayor went on a goalscoring streak in the Champions League.

Despite having never scored before in the competition, he scored a goal in the 2nd leg against Milan at the San Siro. On 13 April in a Premier League game against Manchester United, Adebayor scored Arsenal's only goal, a game which they lost 2–1 at Old Trafford. He scored his second hat-trick for Arsenal after coming off the bench at half time in the 6–2 win against Derby County on 28 April, making him the only player in the Premiership's history to score a hat-trick home and away against the same side in the same season. Although Arsenal finished the season empty handed, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year. Adebayor's second goal against Tottenham Hotspur won Match of the Day's Goal of the Season competition for the 2007–08 season. He was also awarded the BBC African Footballer of the Year for his performance in 2008.

On the summer transfer window he was linked with a £30 million move to Milan and Barcelona, but later insisted to stay at the club after he signed a long contract. On 13 September 2008, Adebayor scored a hat trick in Arsenal's 4–0 win away to Blackburn Rovers, getting his first league goals of the 2008–09 season. Adebayor received his first red card of the season in a 1–1 draw with Liverpool after an altercation with opposing defender Álvaro Arbeloa; this was his second bookable offence of the game and therefore served a one-match ban.

On 8 February, Adebayor suffered a hamstring injury in Arsenal's 0–0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur. The injury would keep him out for almost two months, despite initial estimations suggesting only a three week absence. He made a goalscoring return to action, scoring a brace on his return against Manchester City. On 7 April 2009, Adebayor equalized a goal for Arsenal in the Quarter finals of the Champions League against Villarreal, in which he chested the ball into his control and then performed a brilliant bicycle kick.

In the return leg at the Emirates Stadium a week later, he scored in a 3–0 Arsenal win, setting up a semi-final showdown with Manchester United. However, Adebayor was injured for the last two Premier League games and finished the season as Arsenal's second top goal scorer, scoring 16, behind Robin van Persie's 20 in all competitions.

Manchester City

On 18 July 2009, Adebayor signed a five-year contract with Manchester City, for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of £25 million. He scored a goal on his debut for City against Blackburn Rovers, smashing a shot from 18 yards past Paul Robinson in the third minute. On his home debut, Adebayor scored the only goal in the 17th minute in a 1–0 in over Wolverhampton Wanderers, assisted by fellow summer signing Carlos Tévez.

He scored in his third consecutive league match, heading the winner in a 1–0 away victory against Portsmouth. He then scored in his fourth consecutive match, this time against his former team, Arsenal in a 4–2 victory at the City of Manchester Stadium. As a result, he is one of only six players to score in their first four games for a club. In the match against Arsenal, Adebayor's former team mate Van Persie accused him of deliberately kicking him in the face, and he was later handed a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct.

Adebayor was also criticized for running almost the full length of the pitch to the Arsenal supporters and celebrating in front of them after scoring his goal causing an angry reaction from the Arsenal supporters. He was booked for this, but did later apologize. Manchester City manager Mark Hughes suggested Adebayor did it because he wanted to be loved by Manchester City fans.

For the start of the 2010–11 season he was given the No.9 shirt instead of his favoured No.25 he previously wore at Arsenal and City. He scored his first hat-trick for Manchester City on the 21st October in a UEFA Europa League group stage match against Lech Poznań. In doing so, he became the first ever Manchester City player to score a hat-trick in a European competition. However during the 2010-11 season, Adebayor fell down the pecking order at Manchester City following the club purchasing Edin Džeko with Carlos Tévez and Mario Balotelli also being chosen ahead of him.

Loan to Real Madrid

On 25 January 2011, Adebayor signed a loan deal to play for Real Madrid for the rest of the season. Adebayor scored his first goal for Real Madrid in the second leg of the Copa del Rey Semi-Final against Sevilla FC at the Santiago Bernabéu. The game ended 2–0 with an aggregate score of 3–0. The following weekend, he scored his first goal in "La Liga" against Real Sociedad again at the Santiago Bernabéu. The game ended 4-1 and Adebayor scored the last goal within the last 3 minutes of the game. On 6 March 2011, Adebayor scored the opening goal in the 24th minute against Racing Santander from a Mesut Özil pass. Real Madrid won the match 3-1.

Loan to Tottenham Hotspur

On 25 August, Adebayor signed a year long loan deal to play for Tottenham Hotspur for the 2011/12 season, aiming to help Spurs become a top 4 club.

"The past is the past, I'm looking to the future, you have to be strong to decide to come to Tottenham, I played for three-and-a-half years for Arsenal and there's a lot of rivalry. All I want is to play football and to enjoy myself and today I'm a Tottenham footballer. Tottenham have always been a good club. I know a lot of the players and I have a lot of friends here, so when I got the call to come and join the club and to help the club achieve what they want to achieve, I quickly said yes”.

 

International Career

Adebayor was also eligible to play for Nigeria but chose to represent the country of his birth. Adebayor helped Togo qualify for the 2006 African Cup of Nations by scoring 11 goals in the qualifiers, more than any other player in the African qualifiers. On 10 February 2009, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) picked Adebayor as the African Footballer of the Year for 2008 at an awards ceremony held in Lagos, Nigeria. Adebayor beat final nominees Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt and Ghana's Michael Essien in a vote that involved the national team coaches of CAF's 54 member-nations. It was the first time a Togolese won the award as Africa's best player. (reference 11)

Adebayor helped Togo to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and started all three group matches against South Korea, Switzerland and France, but did not score any goals and Togo ended up in last place. Adebayor was made team captain after the finals.

He was called up for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, where he was a substitute for the country's first match, following a row with the coach. Adebayor first vowed to leave the tournament and return home, although he later resumed training with the side. Togo were eliminated after losing all three matches. He was dropped by Togo following the row over bonus payments. However, Adebayor was brought back into the Togo team in September 2007. On 11 October 2008, he scored four goals in Togo's 6–0 hammering of Swaziland during the World Cup qualification rounds.

Despite being injured, Adebayor played for Togo against Cameroon. Within this match he scored the only goal for Togo to seal the win.

On 8 January 2010, Adebayor was one of the players involved when the Togo national team's bus came under a gunfire attack on the way to the African Cup of Nations in Angola. The fatal attack, in which all the players survived but three other people were killed, led to Togo withdrawing from the tournament. Adebayor consequently announced his retirement from international football on 12 April 2010 in a statement which read, "I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack and I am still haunted by the events which I witnessed on that horrible afternoon on the Togo team bus. We were just footballers going to play a football match and represent our country, yet we were attacked by people who wanted to kill us all. It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again."