The manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has described 39-year-old Wycombe Wanderers striker, Adebayo Akinfenwa as a legend of English football.
Adebayo Akinfenwa was up against a well-assembled Manchester City side on Tuesday in an EFL Cup game at the Etihad stadium and he was able to give a good account of himself.
Though Pep Guardiola used a couple of academy players to execute the first half of the game, Akinfenwa who had started his football career before most of the City players were born, was able to hold his own for 65 minutes.
During his time on the pitch, the Nigerian-born English striker almost scored via a header. Aside from that, he was a big threat to Manchester City’s defense line until he was replaced by 31-year-old Welsh striker Sam Vokes.
After the EFL Cup game which ended 6-1 in favor of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola said he would use the encounter his youngsters had with Adebayo Akinfenwa who weighs 102KG to further guide the youngsters.
“They faced a legend of English football, it was an absolute pleasure to meet him,” Guardiola said of Akinfenwa.
“It’s not easy to do it but they did very well. We are going to review the game and show them how to solve the problems. But there was not one bad performance.”
The 39-year-old English striker also revealed that he was in the final chapter of his football career which he started with the Watford youth team in 2001.
“In truth, we wanted anyone but City”, Akinfenwa said before the 6-1 thrashing in the hands of Manchester City on Tuesday.
“Everyone knows we are going to be doing a lot of running around on Tuesday, but when you play in the lower leagues, you want to pit your wits against the biggest clubs you can, and there’s no doubt City are one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“When the draw was made it was all, ‘yeah! City at the Etihad Stadium!’ and then the realization quickly sank in and it was more like, ‘boy, we may not see the ball very much!’.
“We are going to go into the game and just try and enjoy it as best we can and hopefully spring one or two surprises.
“We got back to winning ways against Charlton on Saturday and I’m sure there will be changes from the starting XI for that game on Tuesday, but we’re looking forward to it…
“The truth is, you want to play against the best. I was watching the game [when City played against RB Leipzig] and doing some research as well, saying ‘we can get at City this way or that way, and then watched as City scored six goals.
“We won’t sit back and we’ll put our best foot forward and give it a good go and see what happens.
“I’ve never played against City at home or away for any of the clubs I’ve played for so I’m really looking forward to it…
“I’ve said this is my final chapter, so to be going up against Pep Guardiola who I think is one of the best in the business, is fantastic.
“And it doesn’t matter what City team we play – A, B, C or D – we know it’s going to be something special, so I’m sure myself and the lads will really enjoy it.
“We are fans before the game, then during the 90 minutes, City is our opponents, then after the game, we are fans again.”
Adebayo Akinfenwa has been playing for Wycombe, a League One club since he left another third-tier club, AFC Wimbledon, on July 10, 2016.
He has played for at least 15 different clubs in his football career and he joined all of them as a free agent. Akinfenwa who will turn 40-year-old on May 10, 2022, will retire from professional football on July 1, 2022.