Emmanuel Adebayor was greeted by a swathe of adoring fans in Paraguay as he landed in South America ahead of joining Asuncion-based Olimpia on a free transfer.
The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker has joined his tenth club in a career that spans 19 years, with Olimpia’s intention being to use the Togolese striker to help them challenge for the 2020 Copa Libertadores.
In joining, Adebayor links up with former City teammate Roque Santa Cruz, who is adored in his home nation of Paraguay and is the current captain of his boyhood club at the age of 38.
Adebayor himself is nearing on his 36th birthday, but despite his age, it didn’t stop hordes of fans awaiting his much-anticipated arrival, as captured by local ABC Deportes cameras.
The rapturous support for Adebayor came at around 2am local time at the Silvio Pettirossi airport, which makes his hero’s welcome all the more impressive on the Olimpia fans’ behalf.
Later on Friday evening, there will be an official presentation of all the members of the club’s 2020 squad, with Adebayor expected to be the headline act when Daniel Garnero unveils his side.
Olimpia are nation’s most successful club, claiming 44 Primera Division titles during their rich history – including both the Apertura and Clausura in the each of the last two seasons – however, they have not tasted Copa Libertadores success since 2002.
A fourth Copa Libertadores title is in their sights, and a front pairing of Adebayor and Santa Cruz looks set to be their approach moving forward. Santa Cruz himself has rediscovered his from with the club, netting 25 goals in all competitions in the most prolific season of his career.
“I’m part of the Olimpia family now,” Adebayor said upon his arrival. “I have to follow their dream, I have to follow their target, which is to win whatever we have to win in the league, whatever we have to win in the country and out of the country.
“We will try our best to do it and let’s enjoy ourselves together. It’s going to be a beautiful year and it’s going to be a beautiful time for me here in Paraguay.”