Lome (Togo), Feb 3 (IANS) Crystal Palace striker Emmanuel Adebayor on Wednesday said he stayed fit during his five-month exile from professional football by playing in competitive games which he organised here in Togo.
Adebayor cancelled his contract at Tottenham Hotspur in September last year and a few days back joined Palace.
“I was in Africa where it is quite easy to have a game. I just had to call on some of my friends and tell them: ‘Listen, I need to play football this afternoon’, and a game was arranged,” Adebayor was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
“It was a proper game with proper players in Togo who are like professionals. So I may have not played in the Premier League for a while but, when I came on, nobody could say I looked like someone who had not played for seven months. Keeping myself fit was not a problem. It is something I have loved doing since I started working. My fitness is one area I’ve never had questioned in my career.”
The 31-year-old also said he has come into Palace to share his experience and try and be a leader. He further stated he had been doing his job professionally all his career and that is what he will keep doing here too.
“I haven’t played many games in this country recently, but I have played more games than all of these guys in the Premier League (in my career),” he said.
“I don’t think they have had anyone who has played in both La Liga and Ligue 1 (with Real Madrid and Monaco), so I am here for some of the players to learn from. It’s about being a leader. It means coming into training on time and doing my job professionally. That’s what I have done in my whole career and that is what I will keep doing.”
Adebayor insisted that he will give his very best for his new club and added they are a better side than what their last five English Premier League results show.
“There are a lot of things said and written about Adebayor, but if you ask every manager I have worked under – except maybe one or two – they will tell you I am a good influence in the dressing room. Things haven’t always gone right for me in football,” he said.
“But I came here because I just want to step on that pitch and have happy moments again. I want to play for this club and do my best for them. We are better than the results in the last five games.”