World Soccer: Why did you leave Arsenal?
Emmanuel Adebayor: It was a very difficult decision because I didn’t want to leave Arsenal, to be honest, and, you know, they told me that they had an agreement with Man City and, whether I liked it or not, I had to leave. I was like: “I’m not leaving!” But at the end of the day, when I had a good discussion with the boss, I realised that he was trying to tell me. What didn’t come out straight from his mouth is, if I stayed, I would not have a chance to play. But for me, there is nothing other than playing football.
So you went to Manchester City. What did they tell you about their ambitions?
We have a chance to bring up this team and make it one of the best in the world. That’s why they brought in players like Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Kolo Toure and myself. People treat me very well because I needed an ambition, I needed to write my own history, because I knew even if I stayed at Arsenal I couldn’t play. And I couldn’t make my own history there because a lot of big, big players, big names have passed before me.
Can Manchester City break into the top four this season?
Why not? We’ve got Barry, a world-class midfielder; we have Stephen Ireland, one of the best midfielders in the world; we’ve got Craig Bellamy, he’s on fire at the moment. Tevez, myself, Robinho, Benjani [Mwaruwari] is coming back.
I think, if those players are fit, why not? At the moment, it’s good. You can see that all the big four are struggling a little bit. This year everything is open.
What does it mean for you, as an African, to have the World Cup in South Africa for the first time?
We are very pleased, very happy. It’s like a dream come true. And, to start with, I am very happy with the Under-20 team of Ghana, the Black Starlets. They have just won the Under-20 World Cup for the first time so, you know, everything is coming our way this time.
It’s very good. It’s very positive for us, as Africans, and we are very happy for that. We are very happy for those young lads, what they have done for us, it’s like they start writing the history.
I am very pleased we are organising this big party in 2010 in South Africa, one of the best, one of the biggest countries in Africa. We just want to enjoy it and try to organise one of the best and most memorable World Cups in history.
How much has African football grown in the last few years, because it seems everyone in Europe has got at least one or two African players?
Africans are in all the big teams. Inter Milan have [Sulley] Muntari and [Samuel] Eto’o. Chelsea have got Michael Essien and they have got Didier Drogba. You go to Barcelona and they’ve got [Seydou] Keita.
You’ve got [Mahamadou] Diarra at Real Madrid. You have a lot of African players at the moment and we just have to believe that we can do it. What is going to happen in South Africa 2010?
I think if my brothers believe that they can do it, yeah. If they are playing for Barcelona, [Inter] Milan, Chelsea, this means they’ve got the talent, they can do it, they can make that dream come true for all African people.