To say Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor is the most known player in Togo is to state the obvious. In fact, he is a cult figure or, if you like, a real phenomenon.
From the cranks and nooks of the capital Lome, his portraits told its own story.
Even from the mouths of toddlers cry the name A-d-e-b-a-y-o-r.
Besides Adebayor’s fantastic goal-scoring instincts, what, perhaps, gave the 23-year-old idol who plays his football in the United Kingdom for Arsenal that phenomenal fame, was his strong resolve to abandon his French club to play for Togo in a World Cup qualifier against Senegal — contrary to the coach’s decision.
He turned provider and scored a personal goal in that game.
However, it turned out to be pyrrhic victory as the chieftains of Monaco showed him the exit. Heartily, Arsenal was just waiting for the opportunity to have his signature. They got it.
'I was happy I took that decision because it sent me to the World Cup for the first time,' Ade-bayor who is currently in Togo for a 2008 Nations Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone on Sunday, told the Times Sports yesterday.
Adebayor was the leading scorer during the Egypt 2006 and Germany World Cup qualifiers, crashing home 11 goals — one more than newly-crowned African Footballer of the Year, Didier Drodba.
'I have always considered my nation first because it made me what I am at the moment. Indeed, playing for my country is the greatest I have ever had,' the Arsenal star intimated.
Having scored every game at ‘Football’s Temple’ in Kegue since 2003, Adebayor who is of Nigerian descent is hugely expected to lead the Hawks’ onslaught to subdue Leone Stars on Sunday.
'I will badly love to be in Ghana for the Nations Cup and that’s why I must put my best foot forward to ensure victory', he stated.