Brave Obilale battling back in spite of African football
His lifelong dream shattered in a split-second. The blink of an eye that Togolese goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale would rather forget - but simply can't.
"I remember the moment very clearly," he tells this week's World Football programme on the BBC World Service. "The atmosphere and group dynamic among the squad was really good, we were young, and everyone was ready for the Nations Cup.
"We were going there to do something special."
As the Togolese bus made its way through the northern Angolan enclave of Cabinda, the high spirits were being captured on film by press officer Stanislas Ocloo as he roamed the bus. He never finished his documentary. He died.
"All of a sudden we heard these gunshots," Obilale, 26, recalls one year on from the traumatic events. "From the first shots, I was hit in the back. I took two bullets."
"It was like a war film."
It's not stretching the imagination to say that Obilale's life was saved by Togo's team doctor, who administered him with morphine to dull his pain.
In the chaos, some on the bus thought he was dead. In the hours afterwards, it was erroneously reported around the world that he was.
By many accounts, he should have been - but shortly after the attack, he clung onto life in an Angolan hospital and has since willed himself onto to a "miraculous recovery".
"In the corridor, I saw two bodies under a white sheet - those of Abalo and Stanislas," he has previously said. "I struggled not to close my eyes. I didn't want to die."
Someone once said that man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit - and Obilale is another prime example of the infinite number of natural-born survivors who have inhabited this planet.
Having undergone initial surgery in Angola, he was flown to Johannesburg where he was operated on again - after which he spent 48 hours in a coma.
Upon awaking, Obilale discovered that the nerve endings at the bottom of his spinal cord had been shattered, meaning he couldn't move his legs nor feel his feet. He was only alive thanks to his excellent physical condition.
It's almost too sad to recall, but Obilale saw the 2010 Nations Cup as the springboard for his fledgling career.
Playing at the Nations Cup as Togo's number one - after years of being the understudy - was supposed to be his big break.
He may have only been playing for lowly Pontivy in the fourth tier of French football, but all who knew a man they repeatedly describe as a leader was destined for greater things.
But this is one of many memories that Obilale has chosen to blot out - just like football in fact (he did not watch a minute of this year's World Cup despite having sat on the bench in Germany four years earlier).
He's certainly not the first man to say that the sport is rotten in recent times - but Obilale's experiences do bring into sharp contrast another unwanted side to the 'beautiful game'.
"I now realise that people are worthless," he laments. "We're nothing, we're like grass.
"The day you get yourself burned or you wither away, you just become dry grass - no good to anyone. When you're on two legs, everyone's running after you. They day you fall down, there's nobody there any more."
You don't have to scratch deep to understand his anger, for he's been let down at most steps of the way.
The Togolese travelled into Angola by bus to save money, he says, and this initial problem was then hideously compounded by the Confederation of African Football's decision to ban Togo from the next two Nations Cups for leaving the tournament (which has since been rescinded).
Two months later, with his football career over, Obilale waited to board a plane home from Johannesburg. But his heart sank yet further as he realised that no one was prepared to pay for the flight.
Certainly not the Angolan authorities, despite their country producing an estimated two million dollars' worth of oil per day. Nor Caf, who have still - remarkably, as my BBC colleague Richard Connelly points out - never spoken to Obilale.
In the end, despite offers from both the French federation and Adebayor, the Togolese federation eventually paid - but only after Obilale had missed his daughter's birthday, a sequence of events that prompted further woe.
There have been good guys. The president of his club Pontivy has been a great help, even if Obilale's contract has now expired. And, even though he may polarise opinion, Adebayor has been an undisputed hero, providing constant support - both moral and financial - for Obilale and his family.
Though covering half of his astronomical medical costs, the Togolese federation has been slow in coming forward to help their player - even neglecting, whether accidentally, or not, to invite him to this weekend's memorial service in the capital Lome (where Obilale grew up).
While the behaviour of those in power has raised serious question marks, Obilale has been most touched by the kindness of total strangers. He has received letters from all around the world (with only Real Madrid among the top clubs sending one), as well as the generosity of locals sensitive to his plight.
"It's people I've never met before who are doing the most" he explains. "And I find that a bit sad."
Obilale himself is fighting on. Despite his disability, he's doing a computer course, taking a diploma in sports teaching, talks of opening a restaurant - and is even set to publish a book on his life.
But with no house of his own, rent to pay and mouths to feed, a shortage of funds is likely to become a problem. The French federation have donated as has Fifa, who have given Obilale a one-off lump sum of $100,000. But Caf - who many believe should bear the responsibility as tournament organisers - have yet to do so.
This is all well and good - but wouldn't an annual payment be more practical?