There’ll be no favours given when team­mates clash in An­gola

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER: Togo’s Em­manuel Ade­bayor is looking for­ward to tak­ing on Manch­ester City col­league Kolo Toure when his team meet Ivory Coast in the African Na­tions Cup group stages.

Togo start their cam­paign in An­gola with a Group B en­counter against Ghana on Mon­day.

They then meet Burk­ina Faso four days later, be­fore clash­ing with Ivory Coast on Jan­uary 19.

“I’m wait­ing for a tough game against (de­fender) Kolo,” striker Ade­bayor told re­port- ers. “When­ever he is play­ing against a friend he is al­ways try­ing to win and then he will have a lit­tle laugh af­ter the game.

“As a pro­fes­sional I just have to keep fo­cused and play against Kolo.

“It will be a fun game, I just have to hope we win.”

Ade­bayor is aim­ing to put his sea­son back on track with a strong per­for­mance for Togo this month.

He scored in his first four Premier League matches af­ter mov­ing from Arse­nal to City in the close sea­son, but his cam- paign has stut­tered since he re­ceived a three-match ban for stamp­ing on for­mer team­mate Robin van Per­sie in Septem­ber.

Ade­bayor said the match against Ivory Coast would be billed as a con­fronta­tion be­tween him and Chelsea striker Di­dier Drogba.

“In Africa peo­ple al­ways make it big when­ever I’ve had the chance to play him for Arse­nal or now with City,” he said.

“Peo­ple try to make it Ade­bayor v Drogba, which I can un­der­stand.

“Drogba is mas­sive in Ivory Coast and Africa.

“He is a cool guy and one of my best friends.

“We’re al­ways hav­ing a laugh in the tun­nel, on the pitch and off the pitch,” added the Togo player.

Ade­bayor said i t was some­times tough be­ing the fo­cus of his coun­try’s ex­pec­ta­tions ev­ery time they take the field.

“I’m happy be­cause every­one likes the way I be­have and they like me as a foot­baller,” he said.

“But I don’t like it be­cause ev­ery­thing is on me and I’d like to have some play­ers be­sides me to make a dif­fer­ence.”

Ade­bayor be­lieves African foot­ball is stronger than its ever been.

“Back in 1990 we were only talk­ing about two big names from Africa – Roger Milla from Cameroon and Rashidi Yekini from Nige­ria,” he said.

“To­day we have Drogba, Sa­muel Eto’o, Michael Essien, Toure.

“All the big teams have one or two big African play­ers.

“Drogba is one of the best strik­ers in Eng­land, (Chelsea’s) Michael Essien one of the best mid­field­ers and Toure one of the best de­fend­ers.

“(In­ter Mi­lan’s) Sa­muel Eto’o is one of the best strik­ers in Italy.” – Reuters

Kolo Toure

Em­manuel Ade­bayor

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