Former Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor has announced his retirement from football at the age of 39.
Former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur striker returned to his native Togo to finish his career with
AC Semassi in the summer of 2021, having enjoyed a goal-laden 20 years in top European leagues.
Adebayor confirmed his retirement on Instagram, posting a video of a compilation of some of his best career moments alongside a note which read “thanks for the blessings”.
“From the highs to the lows, my career as a professional athlete has been an incredible journey.”
“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!”
Adebayor enjoyed his first foray into European football with French club Metz in 1999, progressing through the youth ranks to score 13 goals in the 2002-03 Ligue 2 campaign.
Adebayor’s exploits in the second tier earned him a move to Monaco in 2003, where he clinched a Champions League runners-up medal in his first season as Les Monegasques lost to Porto in the final.
The Togo forward scored 26 goals in 115 games for Monaco and was noticed by Arsene Wenger, who brought him to Arsenal
in January 2006 and oversaw his development into one of the Premier League’s leading strikers.
Adebayor scored 24 goals in the 2007-08 Premier League season, level with Fernando Torres and only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (31) in the race for the Golden Boot as Arsenal finished third.
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However, Adebayor would depart the Emirates in acrimonious circumstances for Man City in July 2009, and he memorably
sprinted to celebrate in front of Gunners fans after scoring for the Citizens against his old club just two months later.
An underwhelming loan to Real Madrid followed – although he did win the Copa del Rey at the Bernabeu – before Tottenham
acquired the striker’s services, and an eye-catching 2011-12 Premier League season saw Adebayor score 17 goals and provide 11 assists in 33 matches.
Adebayor ended his time in the Premier League with Crystal Palace before plying his trade in Turkey with Istanbul Basaksehir and Kayserispor, and he briefly represented Paraguayan giants Olimpia in 2020.
With 32 goals in 88 appearances for the Togo national team, Adebayor remains his country’s highest male goalscorer in history, and he was named the African Footballer of the Year in 2008.