Emmanuel Adebayor has lifted the lid on his mental health problems after the striker admitted his family's unrelenting requests for money led him to the brink of suicide.

By 90Min
November 17, 2017

Emmanuel Adebayor has lifted the lid on his mental health problems after the striker admitted his family's unrelenting requests for money led him to the brink of suicide.

The former Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Real Madrid star spoke to So Foot (via the Mirror) about the times that he considered ending his life due to the financial pressures placed on him by his relatives.

Adebayor explained how he and his brothers often spoke about how their "manipulative" family tried to force them to hand over money, and it led to the 33-year-old suffering from suicidal thoughts earlier on in his career.

He revealed: "I felt like killing myself so many times. I kept this to myself for years and years. I am disgusted that things reached this stage, but I feel relieved to have talked about it.

"My football career will be finished in three or four years. By contrast my family name will remain with me - together with these people.

"Things are hard to bear when you are working hard to lift your family our of poverty, but they are still opposed to you. I have always told my younger brothers that we have been manipulated by our families.

"I often change my phone number so that my family can't contact me. They call me, not to ask how I am, but to demand money. That was the case after I injured my hamstring while with Tottenham.

"They rang me while I was having a scan to ask me if I could pay a kid's school fees. At least ask me first how I am before you do this!"

Adebayor, who plays for Turkish side Istanbul Basakehir, did appear to have happier times with his relatives though as he opened up about that goal celebration for City against former club Arsenal.

The goalscorer ran the full length of the Etihad pitch to slide on his knees in front of the Gunners' away support during the 4-2 victory in September 2009 and, in quotes published by Sport Witness, gave an in-depth explanation behind the enthusiastic celebration.

He said: “I wasn’t going to stand there, listening to five thousand people insult my family when they had nothing to do with it. During that moment, I felt like I weighed 20 kilos when I felt like I weighed 2000 kilos before the game.

“When I start to run, Wright-Phillips tries to catch me. He’s small, so a shoulder barge sends him flying. Then there was Barry, very slow: a quick juke move and he’s left behind. Around the centre circle was Kolo Touré, and he quickly realised it was better to just let me do my thing.

“When I slide on my knees, arms wide in front of the fans, I felt untouchable. People were throwing everything: phone, bottles of water. I never flinched. Everything flew past me. Pew, pew, like in the movies!

“It was like having a sensation of being in prison for so many years and suddenly being told: ‘Brother, take the door and leave. Now, you are free’. That’s what I felt, a deliverance.”

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