Emmanuel Adebayor has thanked City fans and officials for helping him through the nightmare of the shootings in Angola at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Togo international lost friends and colleagues when the team bus was ambushed in a terrorist attack and is adamant that the love he received from back in England has been a major factor in him quickly returning to football.
Adebayor played at the City of Manchester Stadium for the first time since the horrific attack on Sunday and scored a superb 20-yard volley as the Blues overcame Portsmouth 2-0 to continue an impressive run of home form and keep up the pressure in the race for a top four spot.
“It was good to be home and back on the football pitch,” the striker told mcfc.co.uk in an exclusive interview. “At one point I didn’t think I would ever see City’s stadium and the fans again.
It was great to score but more importantly I want to say a huge thank you to all the City fans and to the club for helping me through a terrible time
“Through all the difficulties the fans were there with me calling my name and sending me messages of support, I was very moved by the way they did that.
“The club too did everything they could for me checking I was ok and giving me time before coming back. At the end of the day the most important thing is the relationship between the players and the club and the players and the fans and I feel I have a good relationship here with both.
“The people who work at City and watch City have faith in my ability and faith in what I am doing. I have been through a difficult moment in my life and they have proved that. There is a big Manchester City family and there is a lot of love there.
“I am glad now that these terrible moments are behind me and now life goes on and that means playing football for City and hopefully being successful.”
The win over Portsmouth stretched the Blues unbeaten home run to 14 matches in the Premier League alone and signalled intent not to bow out of the race for fourth spot in the league.
Victory over Portsmouth was not close to the side’s best form of the season but there was a professional edge about the victory that bodes well.
“Portsmouth fought hard but the two goals just before half time gave us breathing space,” concluded Adebayor.
“It was a great pass from Stephen Ireland for my goal and we never looked like giving up the lead once we had it. It is good to get ninety minutes under my belt it is a long time since I played a full game and I feel better for it.”