Before his switch to the German Bundesliga, the young striker collected three league titles and a cup win in Austria, as well as being the top scorer in the league. Karim Adeyemi had therefore won everything there was to win domestically in his first three years as a professional in Salzburg. On top of that, he won the European Championships with the German U21 national team in 2021. He was part of the BVB side that narrowly missed out on the German league title on the final day of the season in 2023.
In his first season in Black and Yellow, he played in 24 of the 34 Bundesliga matches, despite suffering a few injury setbacks. After the winter break, he became a top performer in the team: in 13 league games in 2023, he was involved in an impressive 11 goals (six goals, five assists). "I like to use my speed a lot," he said, describing his playing style. He thrives on the shoulder of the last defender, looking to exploit his speed in the final third and use his pace to go past opponents. In the match against Freiburg on 4 February 2023, he clocked a top speed of 36.7 km/h – the highest speed measured since records began in 2011.
Karim Adeyemi was born in Munich on 18 January 2002 to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother. In his childhood, he played basketball and volleyball as well as football. At the age of eight, he joined the Bayern Munich U9s, but just two years later, he returned to his first club, TSV Forstenried. From 2012 to 2018 he was at the academy of SpVgg Unterhaching.
Austria's perennial title contenders Salzburg then secured the services of the highly talented young attacker, who was 16 years old at the time, for a handsome transfer fee. "I was a bit scared to leave home, but I was also happy to take the next step. It was important to me that I didn't go too far from home. It is only an hour and a half from Munich to Salzburg," he said in an interview with kicker magazine.
At the same time, he was also eligible to play for Salzburg's cooperation partner FC Liefering in the Austrian second division, and he immediately earned himself a regular place in the starting line-up. In the 2019/20 season, Adeyemi also played in nine out of ten UEFA Youth League U19 games for Salzburg. On 20 February 2020, he made his first team debut as a substitute in the Europa League away game against Eintracht Frankfurt (a 4-1 defeat). His big breakthrough came in 2021/22, when the young attacker scored five times in his first three top-flight games, as well as in the important Champions League play-off first leg against Brøndby IF. With 19 goals in 29 games, he was the top scorer in the Austrian Bundesliga. In the UEFA Champions League, he scored three times in the group stage, helping Salzburg to reach the round of 16 in the competition for the first time. He bid goodbye to Austria with 33 goals in 91 matches in the top division and 15 goals in 35 games in the second tier.
"As a young boy, I was fascinated by the high-tempo football the Black and Yellows played. That's why it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to go to BVB as soon as I learned of the interest from Dortmund. I also consciously signed a long-term contract because I am convinced that we will be an exciting team that, with the support of the fantastic Dortmund fans, will be able to challenge for and win titles in the medium term," said the Munich-born striker in the summer of 2022 after signing a contract until 30 June 2027.
He has four caps for the German senior side (as of June 2023), having made his debut on 5 September 2021, when he scored in injury time in the 6-0 World Cup qualifier win over Armenia. "It's crazy that I'm here," he said afterwards. Germany manager Hansi Flick had the following to say about him: "He showed what he had already shown in Salzburg at the beginning of the season – that he is clinical in the penalty area and he plays with great confidence." At the 2022 World Cup, he was part of the squad, but remained an unused substitute.