After 14 years, Emmanuel Adebayor is apologizing to Arsenal fans for his iconic goal celebration for Manchester City.
Numerous famous players have graced the hallowed turf of the Emirates Stadium during the course of Arsenal’s illustrious history. While some have traveled into Premier League competitor territory, few have stirred the ire of the club’s ardent fanbase quite like Emmanuel Adebayor, who made headlines when he joined Manchester City.
Adebayor’s controversial move occurred in July 2009, when he completed a £25 million transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United. At the time, the Togolese forward made a strong expression of intent, declaring his ambition to “make history” at Manchester City. However, this chapter in his career was short-lived, as he was loaned to Real Madrid and Tottenham a few years after leaving Arsenal.
His football career took a downward turn, ending in a surprising turn of events in July 2021, when he found himself plying his craft for the Togolese Championnat National team Semassi. This path culminated to his retirement from professional football on March 21, 2023, at the age of 39.
Despite having played for a number of clubs, including Arsenal’s archrivals, Adebayor’s infamous goal celebration against Arsenal in 2009 remains one of the most remembered events linked with his time at the North London club.
In retirement, Emmanuel Adebayor is reaching out to Arsenal fans, seeking forgiveness and encouraging them to remember the good times they enjoyed.
Emmanuel Adebayor looks to have found consolation in retirement, speaking with Sky Sports News in his native Togo.
“I believe that the fans can let go of the incident that happened in 2009 when I sprinted the length of the pitch,” Adebayor said. Today, I want to be clear that no one would willingly accept insults directed at their family, especially their parents. “I would go to great lengths for my mother and father.”
Following his iconic celebration, Adebayor received a £25,000 fine and a suspended two-match ban from the Football Association. At the time, the regulatory body recognised Adebayor’s admission of guilt, public apologies, and the very offensive nature of the abuse he received.
Nonetheless, they emphasized the necessity of players behaving appropriately, calling such celebrations undesirable.
“It’s now behind me, and I hope it’s behind them as well,” Adebayor said of the incident. We all have a passion for football. So, when they see that celebration on television or social media, I hope they can now take it in stride and move on. That is my wish for Arsenal fans, and I wish them the best of luck in the coming year.”