Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has accused Arsenal fans of being “jealous” of his success.
Adebayor, who left Arsenal to join Manchester City in the summer, antagonised the supporters of his foerm club when he ran the entire length of the pitch to celebrate scoring in last month’s 4-2 victory over the Gunners.
Adebayor, who was also banned for three games by the Football Association for raking his studs down the face of Robin van Persie during that game, insisted he moved to the City of Manchester Stadium to further his football career.
The striker told the Daily Mirror: “There may be people who are jealous of what I am about and have achieved in the game, despite my humble background. People can say what they want and I will just score goals in a team that wants me to be here, and in front of fans that appreciate me.
“I’m happy at City and people who question my decision to come here can go away. To be a part of City’s first Premier League title, getting into the Champions League is a great challenge for me. I’m here for the football, not money.
“No-one likes bad things said about them but I am used to it now. I refuse to back down if I believe something is right – that is my nature. If people do not like it, then I am sorry.
“I feel I am a good influence on the dressing room and my team-mates and that is the main thing, above all. Sometimes I think I am disliked because I show too much emotion … I’m afraid that will never change.
“My final year at Arsenal was difficult, so it was an easy decision to move. Some of the fans would never forgive me after some clubs tried to sign me a year ago, but what could I do?
“I scored 30 goals for Arsenal two seasons ago and it was all forgotten because the fans decided I was not loyal any more when Barcelona and AC Milan showed interest in me. It was hard to take and there did not seem to be anything I could do to change their mind.”
Adebayor did, however, apologise for his “tackle” on Van Persie and for his behaviour in the game against Arsenal.
He said in an interview with CNN International: “When I come to the stadium, for me it was a special game because you’re playing against your former team and was coming up against people who were like brothers.
“When I get to the tunnel and see my friends, I try to shake their hands & but they don’t want to shake my hand and it was a shock. I was like a shock: what is going on? What am I? You know what I mean? I felt very hurt. After that I thought – okay, that’s part of life and just have to deal with it.
“After that, when I get on the pitch and when I hear some singing insulting my dad, insulting my mum, I think, we can’t take everything. We are only human beings and I think that is something that you cannot take. We’ve all got our limit.
“You can insult me, you can judge me on the football pitch, that’s normal. But don’t touch my family, don’t touch my parents, I love them more than everything on this earth. So when I heard fans singing, insulting my family, yes, then my mind was like, I had to respond, respond – which way? I don’t have a choice. I cannot go into the fans and start shouting, I cannot do anything, better way to respond is to score a goal against them. And that is what I managed to do.
“At that time, emotions took over me and I have done it. And you can see that I’m not insulting anyone, I just calm down, sliding on my knee, showing them that “yes, you insult me, you sack me from your team, I go, and now this means I’m not the bad player you think I was when I was playing for you.
“I think I wish I could not have done that, but we are all human beings and [Barack] Obama will make a lot of mistakes where he is now. Cristiano Ronaldo has done a lot of mistakes and Mr Alex Ferguson apologised recently for what he has said against the referee. He just made the mistake, he is a human being, we all do it and we all have to pass through a mistake to be a better man.
“I saw Robin in the tunnel and I told him: ‘I’m very sorry for what happened’. He’s like: ‘Why, why you do that?’ and I told him: ‘Robin, I don’t know, that does happen, I’m sorry’. And at the time he told me ‘Okay, it’s fine’.”