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Adebayor makes the rounds

January 28, 2011
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Emmanuel Adebayor was the most popular person in Madrid yesterday.  After his presentation, he spoke with radio program “El Larguero,” as well as Real Madrid’s own TV channel.  In addition, Fernando Morientes was also interviewed about his former teammate, who is now playing at (another of) his former club!

The interview with “El Larguero” was quite interesting.

Manu – he said that’s what he’s called – did the interview in French, with a translator by his side, although he did try to say some words in Spanish right in the beginning, when the presenter said to him “buenas noches” (good evening) and he said it back to him, after saying “bonsoir.”  Watch the video here.

The interesting parts from the interview:

Q:  You’ll be sleeping tonight in Manchester?

A:  Yes, I have to go do some things and I’ll return tomorrow.

Q:  It’s expected that on Saturday you’ll be called up to go to Pamplona.

A:  The coach will decide that.  I’ll return tomorrow to train with the team and we’ll see if I travel to Pamplona.

Q:  When did you find out about the possibility of signing with Madrid?

A:  It started when my family and friends started asking me about it.  Then I called my agent and he told me that it was a possibility.  I was told one week ago that Madrid was interested in me.  It was an enormous honor because it’s the best club in the world.  The first objective was to come, and that has already been accomplished.  The second objective is to win titles.

Q:  Do you already know what number you’re going to wear?

A:  Not yet.   But I’m really not thinking about it, because I’m here to play football with Real Madrid.

Q:  Do you already know some of your new teammates?

A:  I met Cristiano Ronaldo when he was with Manchester and I was with Arsenal.  Lass and I were also teammates at Arsenal.  And I’ve played against others such as Xabi and Dudek.  I watched all of them play yesterday.

Q:  You watched the game against Sevilla?

A:  It was a good game.  In the end, the important thing is that they won and they did very well.

Q:  Benzema scored a beauty of a goal!

A:  It was an extraordinary goal.  It didn’t surprise me, because he has a lot of talent and quality.  He’s capable of scoring amazing goals.  When I saw that goal, I laughed, because I thought about all that he’s capable of as a player.  I know him well, from the time we were in France.  But there’s no rivalry with him.  The coach will decide if we can play together.  I don’t have problems with playing on the right or the left.  I’ve played with a forward like Fernando Morientes.  As long as we win, I’ll be content.

Q:  In England, you have the reputation of being a controversial player.

A:  Maybe that’s true.  But the important thing for me is to win.  In a team, like in any family, there are different personalities.  Each one is as they are.  Emotions sometimes get the best of people.  But I want to make clear that I’m here to win.  I’m a good person.

Q:  Have you learned your lesson and become more mellow?

A:  I’m very calm.  I had a daughter recently and that changed me a lot.  In addition, in January last year I suffered a terrorist attack and I almost lost my life.  That also influenced me to change.

Q:  How do you remember that incident, that terrorist attack that Togo suffered in Angola while disputing the African Cup?

A:  It traumatized all of us and I get goosebumps thinking about it.  On Jan. 8, a lot of my friends called me because it was the one-year anniversary and we were praying in memory of those who were killed.  It was a moment of panic, 32 minutes in which we were between life and death.

Q:  Is it true that as a child you couldn’t walk?

A:  Each time I remember that, I cry.  My mother told me that I could not walk and she took me to the countries around Togo to look for a solution.  We spent one week praying in a church in Acra and on Sunday I started walking.  [There is more on this later on in the post.]

Q:  Was it a miracle?

A:  We can say that.

Q:  Have you played in the Bernabéu?

A:  I played there in 2005, when I was with Monaco and we won 4-2.

Q:  Will you live alone in Madrid?

A:  My wife and my daughter, who’s two months old, will stay in England for a few more months because it’s always difficult to leave a city and a home.  But they’ll come here so they can watch all my games.

Q:  Were you a good student?

A:  Like many Africans, I never went to school much.  I played football and went to school, but I liked sports more.

Q:  You’re very Catholic.  Was it because of that miracle, when you began to walk?

A:  I just believe in God.  I know He exists.

Q:  Do you return to Togo a lot to see your family?

A:  Almost my entire family is still there, so I go when I can.  Right now I should focus on my professional career, but I love being back there.

Q:  Your parents and siblings are still there?

A:  My father passed away almost six years ago, but my mother is in Togo.  She came to visit me several times when I was with Arsenal.  She couldn’t make it to Manchester, but maybe she can come to Madrid.  My siblings are also still in Togo.

Q:  What is Togo like?

A:  It’s a small country in west Africa, with five or six million inhabitants, and very pretty.  It’s not a rich country, but the president is making a lot of efforts to overcome that.

Q:  Do you know where Pamplona is?  You’re playing against Osasuna on Sunday.

A:  I don’t have any idea, but I’ve been told it’s difficult to win there.  I hope to play.

Adebayor also spoke with RMTV, and here was the only interesting thing they asked him:

Q:  Have you had a chance to speak to Benzema or Lass?

A:  I called Benzema last night, but his phone was off, so he was probably on the plane after the game. I had a chance to speak with Lass before the game and he welcomed me and expressed his delight for having me here. He is a very good friend of mine because we played together at Arsenal just for a few months, but we’ve kept in touch until now. I guess I have some family here. I played against Ronaldo when he was in Manchester. I’m at a big club where I know many players, and I know they will do everything they can to help me and to make me feel comfortable and safe [just ask the Germans, no?].

Fernando Morientes was interviewed by AS about his former teammate:

Fernando Morientes on Adebayor:  He told me, “Nando, you won three Champions Leagues, what was it like?  Tell me everything.”  He was always very friendly and he always understood quickly whatever you were explaining.

And here’s the story, also from AS, about the miracle of Emmanuel walking.

For his mother, Alice Emiola, what happened 22 years ago was a divine miracle.  The history is incredible.  Emmanuel Adebayor was four years old at that time, and could not walk.  Alice took him to Nigeria, to Ghana, everywhere in search of a cure for her son.  But the months passed by and Emmanuel still could not walk.  One day, she went to a church, where they promised her that they would pray an entire week for him.  If at the end of the week he was not cured, there was no hope for him.  The prayers started at noon on Sunday, but by the following Saturday, the child was still in his wheelchair.

Adebayor remembers, “that day my mother began crying, because she had given up all hope.”  But on the seventh day, the miracle came.  It was 09:30h.  The Adebayor family was inside the church, praying.  Suddenly, the silence was broken by the shouts of some children playing football outside.  One of the children had kicked the ball and it had gone into the church.  No one got up to pick it up.  No one… except Emmanuel, who went running after it.  Alice was frightened.  “She was scared because she had never seen me walk before,” says Emmanuel.  Everyone there began to hug and kiss the child and his mother.  They told Alice, “your son is walking because of football.  That must be because football is in his veins.”  Alice said, “that’s when I knew that he was destined to become a footballer.”  She’s told her son this story many times, and perhaps because of this, he’s very religious:  “everything I do I place in the hands of God, my creator.”

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. phiemdu permalink
    January 28, 2011 12:04

    Wow, it’s such a miracle that a boy couldn’t walk finally become a football player when he’s grown up. Moving story. I’m not sure about my feelings for Adebayor, but based on his words, it seems that he has better manners now.

    Hope that he can score lots of goals for us and have a good time in Madrid.

  2. amouria permalink
    January 28, 2011 13:23

    I liked Adeb’s attitude. He seems to have knowledge of how to communicate with the media. Good, good. But AS should excuse us; the miracle story made me laugh, it’s like a typical indian film…hahaha, we should take it lightly.

    • mar permalink
      January 28, 2011 17:55

      i agree in everything…i just hope that he communicates in the same good way with the others in the locker room. As for the story with walking, I can’t believe it as I am not a religious person myself

  3. meredith permalink
    January 28, 2011 16:33

    I don’t have problems with playing on the right or the left. I’ve played with a forward like Fernando Morientes. As long as we win, I’ll be content.

    If he’s trying to endear himself to me by invoking my favorite ex-Real player, it’s working.

  4. January 28, 2011 17:19

    Wow, that story at the end brought tears to my eyes, negl – reminds me of Kaka’s story. I’m not gonna judge on his previous personalities and because I’ve never seen him play, but he seems like a good guy. I like his answers.

  5. Jenny permalink
    January 28, 2011 18:33

    All right – it’s official. I love him.

    And I think he has a uniquely beautiful face.

  6. LaBlanca permalink
    January 30, 2011 17:41

    i dunno the story sounds too unbelievable. At least that it should have been a result of a week long prayer.

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