|© UNICEF UK/2006/Burmiston|
|Emmanuel Adebayor joined Premier League powerhouse Arsenal in January 2006.|
Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor, the high-flying star footballer from Togo, has teamed up with UNICEF and FIFA to act as one of sponsors of the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE FOR PEACE campaign.
Hailing from the Yoruba ethnic group, Mr. Adebayor’s parents had moved to Togo from Nigeria several years before his birth. As a young teen he was selected for the Togo national team playing at a youth tournament in Sweden. His professional career was launched after French side FC Metz spotted the lanky young phenom and recruited him to their youth academy.
In 2002-2003, his first season with FC Metz at the age of 17, Mr. Adebayor shone brightly. He netted 13 goals, making him the second leading scorer in his league.
Major international clubs took notice, and he landed a spot on Didier Deschamps' Monaco. There he scored 21 goals in two and a half seasons, and helped lead his team to the Champions League final.
Over the next two seasons, Mr. Adebayor dazzled the African continent with his superb play for the Togo national team. He was named Togo’s player of the year in 2004 and one of Africa’s top four players in 2005. Leading the African Group 1 Division in World Cup qualifying rounds with 11 goals, his outstanding play propelled Togo into the 2006 World Cup.
Establishing himself as one of the best players in Africa over the last few years, Mr. Adebayor made the jump to the top-rated English Premier League, joining the Arsenal squad in January 2006. He scored in his debut appearance for Arsenal, helping lead his new team to a 2-0 victory.