Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor popularly known as Emmanuel Adebayor is a famous Togolese professional and international football player, investor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist, who played as a forward striker for his country Togo national team and a former forward striker for English Premier League club Arsenal. He was born on 26th February 1984 in the city of Lome, Togo to Nigerian parents of Yoruba descent. He is currently 34 years old.
Emmanuel Adebayor was born and raised in Togo, where he spent most of his childhood and youth life and also completed his primary and secondary school education. He also attended Sports Development Centre of Lomé in Togo also known as Sporting Club de Lomé.
Emmanuel Adebayor was spotted playing for Sporting Club de Lomé by scouts from Metz, who brought him to France in 1999. On 17th November 2001, he made his Ligue 1 debut against Sochaux. Following Metz’s relegation, he played a season in Ligue 2, where he scored 13 goals in 34 league matches and which prompted his summer move to Monaco in 2003.
Emmanuel Adebayor has featured nine times in Europe as Monaco reached the 2004 UEFA Champions League finals against Porto in Gelsenkirchen, for which he was an unused substitute in his club’s 3–0 loss to Porto.
On 13th January 2006, English Premier League club Arsenal under the manager of Arsene Wenger signed Emmanuel Adebayor for a reported whopping sum of £3 million. He was given the nickname “Baby Kanu” due to his resemblance to former Arsenal star Kanu Nwankwo, whom Emmanuel Adebayor had idolized as a youth and looked up to as his mentor and role model.
On 4th February 2006, Emmanuel Adebayor made his Arsenal debut in a Premier League match against Birmingham City and scored a goal after 21 minutes, with Arsenal winning 2–0 against Birmingham City. At the end of his first season in Arsenal, he had already scored four goals in ten matches.
During the 2006-2007 seasons, Emmanuel Adebayor secured his first win for Arsenal, after scoring Arsenal’s winning goal against Manchester United to give Arsenal a 1–0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Earlier in the match, Emmanuel Adebayor was brought down in the six-yard box to earn Arsenal a penalty, which was taken by Giberto Silva and saved by the goal keeper.
On 8th November 2006, Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal of the match to send Arsenal into the quarter-finals of the League Cup against Everton. On 28th April 2007, Emmanuel Adebayor scored his second hat-trick goal for Arsenal after coming off the bench at half time in a 6–2 victory against Derby County, making him the only player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick home and away goal against the same side in the same season.
On 18th July 2009, Emmanuel Adebayor signed a five-year contract with Manchester City for a transfer fee worth £25 million. While in Manchester City, he scored a goal on his first debut for Manchester City against Blackburn with a shot from 18 yards in the third minute of the game. Emmanuel Adebayor also scored in the 17th minute in a 1–0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers. He also scored in his third consecutive Premier League match against Portsmouth which resulted in a 1–0 away victory against Portsmouth.
Emmanuel Adebayor currently plays as a forward striker for Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir. He previously played for English Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace, as well as French side Metz and Monégasque team Monaco and Spanish team Real Madrid. He is one of the most accomplished and successful footballer in Africa. In 2008, he was voted as the African Footballer of the Year while playing at Arsenal.
Emmanuel Adebayor has represented the Togo national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, which also happens to be the country’s only debut till date. In January 2010, Emmanuel Adebayor was one of the players involved in the accident that occurred when the Togo team’s bus came under gunfire on the way to the 2010 Africa Cups of Nations in Angola, after which he retired from playing football in national team level.
In 2013, Emmanuel Adebayor returned to the Togo national team for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa, where he helped them to qualify for the quarter-finals. He is currently Togo’s all-time top goal scorer with 31 goals to his credit. Emmanuel Adebayor is currently married and has a daughter named Kendra who was born in June 2010.
Emmanuel Adebayor in the cause of his career as an international footballer has won several awards which include African Player of the Year, BBC African Footballer of the Year, BBC Goal of the Season, Premier League PFA Team of the Year, amongst others.
Emmanuel Adebayor is currently one of the richest and most influential football player in Togo with an estimated net worth of $45 million.