The 39-year-old former Arsenal, Manchester City, and Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor, took to Instagram to announce his retirement revealing that he is excited and ready for the next stage of his life.
“From the highs to the lows, my career as a professional athlete has been an incredible journey,” he wrote on Instagram.
“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!”~ Emmanuel Adebayor
The Togolese striker shone in his three and a half years at the Gunners after joining from Monaco in 2006, scoring 62 goals and in 2008 was crowned African Footballer of The Year and named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
However, in July 2009 he joined Manchester City for £25m – who had recently been bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group – with many Arsenal fans feeling let down by the move.
To compound matters, two months later the teams met in the Premier League and Adebayor scored against his old club in a 4-2 win, famously running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the traveling Arsenal fans, with projectiles, including a chair, thrown from the away end.
It earned him a suspended two-match ban and £25,000 fine, in addition to a three-match ban for a stamp on former Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie.
Emmanuel Adebayor apologized, saying “the emotion took over me”, but said the Arsenal fans had been insulting him all game.
The controversial goal – an 80th-minute header – features in his retirement announcement on Instagram, as does another strike for Manchester City.
Adebayor would later be loaned to Real Madrid, before a permanent move to Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham, before stints at Crystal Palace and spells in Turkey and Paraguay.
The former Togo forward, who scored 32 goals in 85 games for his country, finished his career in his homeland at Semassi.
Only three African players have scored more Premier League goals than Adebayor’s 97 – Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (104), former Liverpool and Southampton winger Sadio Mane (111), and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (131).
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