Emmanuel Adebayor has delivered a stinging rebuke to Manchester City fans, declaring he left the Eastlands because he did not feel loved.
City parted with 25 million pounds to secure the services of Adebayor from English Premier League rivals Arsenal in July 2009, but less than two years later the Togolese striker was shipped off to Real Madrid on loan.
The appointment of manager Roberto Mancini as Mark Hughes’ successor in December 2009 foreshadowed the end of Adebayor’s time at City, despite scoring 14 goals in 34 games in his first season.
Mancini’s preference for a defensive formation relying on one striker, as well as the arrival of star signings Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, left Adebayor out in the cold and the 27-year-old was hastened out of the door in January.
Adebayor, who has since found the net three times in 13 games with Real, said leaving the Eastlands was much easier than departing the Emirates because the fans were not kind to him.
“When I first joined Manchester City, I was very happy,” Adebayor told The Sun.
“I was pleased, I was playing and I was scoring goals. Suddenly we had a game against Arsenal and you all know what happened (he scored against Arsenal, and was reprimanded for celebrating in front of their fans).”
“From then it went downhill for me. We changed the bosses. Mark Hughes left, Roberto Mancini came along and it was even more difficult.”
“But the difference between leaving Arsenal and going to Manchester is that at Arsenal the fans loved me, I think even today they love me.”
“When I come to Madrid I feel the same atmosphere, I feel the fans love me here as well.”
“If you ask a player there is nothing more important than to feel loved.”
“Here in Madrid I feel very happy because I feel loved by all the players, by the supporters, by the staff members.”
Real host Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, three days after falling eight points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona in a shock 1-0 loss at home to Sporting Gijon.
But despite the setback, Adebayor believes the club are still within reach of a domestic-European double.
“We’ve got a good team, good quality and good team spirit,” he said.
“We are eight points behind Barcelona but we still have to play them at home.”
“It will be very difficult, don’t get me wrong, but we have a good chance to give them a good run until the end of the season.”
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