Football will be a poorer place when Adebayo Akinfenwa leaves the game.
The 34-year-old is one of the sport’s few larger-than-life characters and raised smiles across Britain with his hilarious post-match interview after AFC Wimbledon’s League Two play-off final win over Plymouth Argyle at Wembley on Monday afternoon.
Akinfenwa entered the fray as a 77th-minute substitute and, in fairytale fashion, scored from the penalty spot in the 11th minute of stoppage time to help the Dons secure promotion to the third tier of English football.
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“It's what dreams are made of, it's a beautiful feeling,” an ecstatic Akinfenwa told Sky Sports.
He then delivered this line that will be remembered for many years to come: “I think I'm technically unemployed so any managers, hit me up on the WhatsApp and get me a job.”
Akinfenwa also embraced manager Neal Ardley and shouted: “He’s releasing me!”
Video: Akinfenwa's WhatsApp plea
Video: Akinfenwa's interview continued
Serious element to Akinfenwa's plea
Although the interview was obviously funny, there was a serious element to it. Akinfenwa has now been released by Wimbledon and is on the lookout for a new club.
The world’s strongest player - according to the FIFA video game series, anyway - will be desperate to continue playing in the Football League but may struggle to find another League Two club willing to take him on given his advancing years.
Nevertheless, Akinfenwa refused to allow those concerns to spoil his afternoon.
“We were the underdogs, so not only Leicester can do it, AFC Wimbledon can do it,” Akinfenwa continued. “There ain't no better way to leave this club than to leave them promoted, it's beautiful.
“Playing at Wembley, the hallowed turf, it don't get no better than that, I promise. All those who said I was too big to play football, come on now. Haa haa.”
Akinfenwa wants to continue playing
Akinfenwa is a lower-league journeyman whose popularity has soared in recent years, thanks largely to his character on FIFA.
However, the Islington-born striker also has an infectious personality in real life and, if he decides to, could carve out a successful career in front of the camera once he calls time on his playing career.
For now, though, it seems he’s very much focused on finding a new club in time for the 2016-17 campaign.
Is Adebayo Akinfenwa football’s funniest man? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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