He is 5ft 11 inches tall and weighs 102 kg (224.872 pounds). He was once told he couldn’t play football because he was “too big.” 160 goals later, British-Nigerian AFC Wimbledon striker, Adebayo Akinfenwa, has clearly proven them wrong.
Popularly known as “The Beast,” the 32-year-old Akinfenwa’s name was again on the lips of football fans across the world, after he scored an unlikely equaliser against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round on Monday night, BBC reports.
To get the world better acquainted with the football star, BBC put together a brief profile of Akinfenwa. Here are excerpts:
On having an atypical body type for a footballer
Akinfenwa says he is naturally a “big guy” and that he didn’t let his size discourage him from pursuing his dreams of playing football.
He often gets mistaken for NFL players, but never hesitates to tell people that he plays “proper football.”
He is passionate about fitness and most especially, lifting heavy weights. Previous managers have reportedly had to “rein him in” to stop him spending too long in the gym.
Akinfenwa’s strength has been recognised by the FIFA series of video games, which have deemed him the strongest footballer in the world, with a strength rating of 97 out of 100.
His physique, as well as his tenacious nature on the football field, earned him this nickname.
“Beast Mode is a state of mind.”Beast Mode is about applying yourself and defying the limitations people put on you,” he says.
Born to a Muslim father and Christian mother, he practiced both religions growing up.
“When Ramadan was on dad made us fast and then I had to read the Bible every day and go to church,” he says.
However, he was more drawn to Christianity and now reads the Bible daily and attends church every Sunday.
On experiencing racism at his first professional club
Despite encountering racism at his first football club, FK Atlantas in Lithuania, Akinfenwa did not let it discourage him.
“There ain’t nobody going to run me out of nowhere,” he says.
To read the full profile on Adebayo Akinfenwa, visit www.bbc.com
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Pete Norton