Emmanuel Adebayor gives in-depth interview about his struggles with Arsenal

Arsenal's Togolese Striker Emmanuel Adeb

Emmanuel Adebayor has been a divisive character throughout his career.

While an extremely talented player - in his prime, anyway - the 35-year-old's supposed big ego has dropped him in controversy on several occasions.

At Arsenal he was adored and during his three years there he became a world-class striker, but strained relationships with his teammates and the lure of money saw him depart in 2009.

Manchester City was his destination and during a 4-2 win over Arsenal in September, he scored and ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of his old fans.

In Adebayor's eyes it was the perfect way to respond to the jeers he had received all game, but in the long run it's seen him become a hated man.

Loan spells with Real Madrid and Tottenham followed before a permanent move to Spurs in 2012, which only worsened his relationship with Gooners. He then joined Crystal Palace.

Adebayor now plays for ─░stanbul Basaksehir in Turkey, where he's been able to wind down his career and reflect on his rollercoaster ride.

In a wide-ranging and fascinating interview with the Daily Mail, Adebayor has discussed leaving Arsenal, that celebration, having a fight with Nicklas Bendtner and how the Gunners were too "nice".

Arsenal v Wigan Athletic - Premier League

ON LEAVING ARSENAL AND NOT BEING SHOWN 'LOVE'...

"I did not just wake up one morning at Manchester City. I had signed a five-year contract at Arsenal. I came back for pre-season and Wenger said 'You have to leave'. I said 'Why should I leave?' I asked for one more year and if it does not work, I will walk off. He's like 'No.' He said if I stayed he would not put me in the squad. When you hear that, you have to go.

"Kolo [Toure], [Cesc] Fabregas, [Gael] Clichy, [Robin] van Persie. They all left. I don't think Arsenal have shown love to keep players. You are on huge money at Arsenal. But if you can double your salary, we are footballers and in 10 years, it is over.

Arsenal v Manchester City

"If you are Cesc, going to Barcelona, he will make more money, more sponsorship, and he is going home. What did Arsenal do to keep him at the club? Absolutely nothing. Now the fans say he is not loyal. When you leave Arsenal, you become a traitor, regardless of what you have done. Van Persie was the same."

ON THAT CELEBRATION AND THE ISSUE OF RACISM...

"This is the thing - and it is why I have not said anything about racism the past few weeks. When I celebrated, the FA fined me, they punished me. Nothing happened to the Arsenal fans. So it [racism] started with me and long before me.

"I remember getting to the stadium and Arsenal fans were there. All I heard was the the chant, 'Your mother is a whore and your father washes elephants.' My father worked in currency exchange and my mother is a businesswoman. But this went on and on. So how can I reply? I didn't have a voice to go against thousands of supporters.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

"And now the same FA are trying to stop racism? I'm sorry. It does not work that way. Today is too late. We are tired. Enough is enough. I see Mario Balotelli and Didier Drogba on Instagram. How many times do we have to post something? We have to react. We have to leave the pitch."

ON FIGHTING BENDTNER IN THE DRESSING ROOM...

"I'm a free guy, I come to every club, walk into the changing room and sing. I danced with Thierry Henry and had huge respect for Dennis Bergkamp. But at Arsenal, when you walk into the dressing room, there is a shoe rack. You take off your trainers and wear the club sandals into the dressing room.

"Bendtner walked in with his own shoes twice. I said: 'Bendtner, there is a law here and nobody is above it.' He was younger than me and barely playing. 'We are bigger than you but nobody else walks in with Prada, Gucci.' He said 'I don't care'. I said 'Don't do it again'. The next day, he did the same and we jumped into a fight."

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Carling Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg

ON ARSENAL BEING TOO NICE TO OPPONENTS...

"I remember those days going to Stoke. I'm a big guy but what about the rest of the team? We came out of the dressing room in the corridor and you hear clink, clink, the studs from Stoke, and just think 'Oh my God'. [Ryan] Shawcross, [Robert] Huth, [Peter] Crouch... then you see our team of 60kg players.

"We had quality but for some games, I am sorry, it was not enough. [Manchester] United and Chelsea were technical but so strong. Did Arsenal hurt from defeats like United did? We swallowed defeats. Games where I scored and we lost 2-1, I thought my job was done. These are the things we didn't have. We were nice. We had a gentlemen team. We play, we pass around but when it comes to being dirty, we couldn't."

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