Adebayor relishing clash with Kolo

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 reporters.

"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 campaign has stuttered since he received a three-match ban for stamping on former team mate 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 it 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) Essien one of the best midfielders and Toure one of the best defenders.

"(Inter Milan's) Eto'o is one of the best strikers in Italy."