Meet Adebayo Akinfenwa, the Strongest Man in Soccer

Soccer Features

With League Two stalwarts AFC Wimbledon in the spotlight for their Jan. 5 FA Cup match against Liverpool, one player stood out in a big way.

Meet Adebayo Akinfenwa. The 32-year-old young mountain came through Watford’s academy system before embarking on a long career as a journeyman striker. He’s mostly bounced around between clubs in League One and League Two (with repeat spells at Gillingham and Northampton), playing for a season or two before moving on. He’s notched an impressive goal tally at every club he’s been at, and developed a reputation for a solid workrate, good hold-up play and posing a constant threat in the box.

He’s also big. Like, really big.

And just so we’re clear: Akinfenwa’s size is largely muscle mass. Officially listed as 5’11” and 189lbs, his size is a credit to a fitness regimen focused on strength training. He can lift over 400lbs— as well as members of AFC Wimbledon’s front office, which he did as part of a fundraiser back in September. Here’s an idea of what his workout regimen looks like:

Dude is jacked, basically.

It’s also worth noting that Akinfenwa’s strength rating in FIFA, a whopping 97 out of 100, has been the highest of all available players for the past several years—something which the man himself takes no small amount of pride in.

Don’t let Akinfenwa’s size fool you either; he’s no slow, lumbering giant, and he’s not wearing #10 by mistake. Here he is doing a cheeky Zidane turn to evade Philippe Coutinho:

Oh, and he scored AFC Wimbledon’s equalizer late in the first half:

His size and physicality, not to mention the above bit of skill and the goal, meant Akinfenwa was the talk of soccer fans around the world during the match, which then caught the attention of the internet at large. His name became a trending topic on Twitter in the United States, leading, perhaps inevitably, to the emergence of #AkinfenwaFacts.

Wimbledon lost the game 2-1, but everyone knows about the team now—and their human steamroller up top.

And don’t feel too bad for Akinfenwa. He got a nice consolation prize.

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