Emmanuel Adebayor urges Arsenal fans to move on from notorious 2009 celebration and says Harry Kane can win the Ballon d’Or at Bayern Munich; Adebayor: “Every once in a while when they see that celebration, hopefully now they can laugh it off and move on. I wish them the best”
The former Arsenal and Tottenham striker hung up his boots in March this year, after a career that saw him win the African Footballer of the Year award in 2007 and 2008.
But despite Arsenal being the club where Adebayor played his most games and scored his most goals, it’s his celebration against them for Manchester City in 2009 which is arguably his most recognised moment in association with the club.
And now he has retired, the man whose nickname before he joined Arsenal was ‘Baby Kanu’, is asking for Arsenal fans to forgive the incident and focus on the good times they shared.
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Adebayor said: “I think the fans can forget what happened in 2009 when I ran the length of the pitch.
“Today I will make it clear, I don’t think any human being would accept it if people were singing about and insulting your family, especially your mother and father.
“I would do anything for my mother and father.”
Adebayor was fined £25,000 and handed a suspended two-match ban by the Football Association after he ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal fans when scoring in the 80th minute.
“In reaching its decision the commission took into account his admission of the charge, public apology and the extremely provocative nature of the abuse he received,” read a statement from the FA at the time.
“However, the commission also stated that players have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a proper manner and that such celebrations are unacceptable and have the potential to cause a serious public order incident.”
Adebayor said: “It’s behind me now, I hope it is behind them. We all love football. And every once in a while when they see that celebration on television and social media, hopefully now they can laugh it off and move on.
“That’s what I wish for the Arsenal fans and I wish them the best of luck this year.”
So what does Adebayor make of the current Arsenal side?
Adebayor said: “Last season we were all rooting for them to win the league and they came very close.
“When it reached around January and February, I was telling all my friends, I hope these boys will not start dropping points. This is how it was with me when I was playing for Arsenal.
“We’d be first or second and then around February a player would get injured or suspended and that’s it. The league is gone. We had a great team but a young team, we needed a leader
“So when I saw them starting to drop points, even when Man City were several points behind, I said listen to me, I don’t know whether there is a curse on the club but it’s going to be difficult for them to win the league.
“But let’s put it into perspective. Where they were coming from and what they did last year was incredible. They finished second and came so close to winning the league.
“With Declan Rice, they have bought some good players. They have actually invested to win the league and go far in the Champions League.
Three of Adebayor’s former clubs fill the top spots in the Premier League as the season hits an international break in Tottenham, Arsenal and Man City.
And Adebayor says he’ll indulge a little in Man City’s treble success last term.
“I’m so happy that Man City won the treble as one of my old teams. We started that project at the beginning, so for them to win the treble, it’s like me being part of the project. It’s beautiful.”
As for Tottenham, with Adebayor being no stranger to high profile transfers, he says he understands why Harry Kane chose to join Bayern Munich in the summer.
“Tottenham is a great club but I think it was a good time for him to leave. He needed a new challenge. This is someone who has been scoring 30 to 40 goals every season and not winning anything.
“I had a chance to win something with Real Madrid. I played in the Champions League final and didn’t win it, played in the FA Cup final and didn’t win it, played in the Coupe De France final and didn’t win it.
“We’re talking about Bayern Munich here. Bayern is a club that wants to win the Champions League every year.
“He is already a legend in the Premier League. But being a legend you have to be able to talk about what you have won. If you look at the amount of goals he has scored – if you said this guy hasn’t won a trophy, you’d be amazed.”
“I think he would have had regrets knowing he has everything in his possibility to win everything. If at Bayern he scores 30 goals, wins the Bundesliga and Champions League, he could win the Ballon d’Or.
“It’s time for him to start chasing trophies.”