By Richard Clarke  

Emmanuel Adebayor refused to watch Champions League games after Arsenal’s exit last season.

The Togolese striker has more reason than most to want his side to lift the “trophy with big ears” in Rome on May 27.

The 24-year-old was an unused substitute when Monaco lost to Porto in the 2003 Final and was cup-tied when Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the showpiece game three years later.

In fact, Adebayor has not won a major prize since he moved from Togo to French football a decade ago. So he is desperate for success in the FA Cup or Champions League this season.  And Arsenal’s progress in the latter competition will be severely tested this week when they visit Villarreal in the Quarter-Final first leg. Last season, they were knocked out at this stage by Liverpool in highly controversial fashion.

"As a player, you always dream of winning things,” he said after his brace against Man City on Saturday.

“When I joined this club, I was told by most of my friends and team-mates that I had a great chance of winning something. But for the last three years I have gone on holiday having not won a trophy and with an empty heart. Now it's the time to achieve things.

“I didn't watch the Champions League last year [after we went out]. I switched off as I couldn't bring myself to watch it.

“That means I will do everything and give everything to play in it and once you are in the Semi-Finals anything can happen.

"We know it will be very difficult. We are expecting a hard game and a very good atmosphere in Villarreal. As a kid, I always dreamed of playing in a Champions League Quarter-Final and now I just want to enjoy it.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
6 Apr 2009