A tribute to Europe’s fattest footballer

Adebayo Akinfenwa: Europe’s fattest footballer

One of my favourite players in the Football League is in red hot form at the moment and I think it’s about time he gets the credit he deserves.

Adebayo Akinfenwa is famous for being Europe’s heaviest footballer. The Northampton striker weighs a staggering 16st 7lbs (106kg or 233 pounds) and has a BMI of 30.6, which means he is technically obese. This means he weighs the same as Welsh international hooker (rugby) Huw Bennett and Denver Broncos linebacker (American football) Von Miller.

His size has led to Akinfenwa being ridiculed throughout his career and he’s often been seen as a big fat joke. Opposition fans regularly target Bayo with chants such as “who ate all the pies” and “You fat b******.”

Unfortunately for Akinfenwa his weight has also had an adverse effect on his health over the years. Akinfenwa picks up many injuries due to his size and it also means he takes longer than the average player to recover. Bayo once broke his leg jumping for a header in his Swansea days, the weight of his torso too much for his bones to handle as he landed.

It’s quite easy to see why people view Akinfenwa as a freak-show; he doesn’t look like a footballer, in fact he doesn’t look the least bit athletic.

But for years Akinfenwa’s been bulldozing his way through League 1 and League 2 defences, using his massive frame to good effect.

Few players are as naturally strong as Akinfenwa so he uses this strength to brush off defenders and create chances. But there are plenty of physical, combative forwards in League 2, and I would be doing Akinfenwa a great disservice if I didn’t mention his other attributes.

What sets Akinfenwa aside from other big, hulking strikers is that he can move with the ball. He lacks pace but he has great ball control for a big man and this control, coupled with his physical presence means he dribbles like a tank. He moves slowly across the pitch but it’s very hard to steal the ball from him. The ball sticks to his feet when he runs and it can get very comical watching misguided defenders literally bounce off Akinfenwa as they try to tackle him.

His goals record proves he’s an adept poacher. He’s scored seven goals in his last four games for Northampton, including a hat trick at Accrington on November 10. He has a strong aerial presence and constantly gets into good goal-scoring positions.

Akinfenwa, one of the football league’s great journeymen, has 12 league goals for Northampton this season, which makes him the 3rd top scorer in League 2 this season.

Akinfenwa is a formidable striker and a nightmare for most League 2 defenders but it’s his personality that really endears him to football fans. A deeply religious man, he is often seen as a gentle giant off the pitch. Regardless of form he’s always positive and he’s one of the changing room’s liveliest characters.

Akinfenwa’s uniqueness means he’s very well-known among football fans but all too often people look at him and fail to see beyond his size. In fact Akinfenwa’s skill and goal-scoring deserves far more credit than it currently receives.

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3 thoughts on “A tribute to Europe’s fattest footballer

  1. hermann

    It would be nice to mention that dayo is a bodybuilder.. Have you ever seen his arms or chest? There isn much fat
    but i like your blog

    Reply

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