Three Premier League titles. Two La Ligas. Champions League. Africa Cup of Nations. Over 100 international caps. Four-time African Footballer of the Year.
Yaya Toure has a considerable football CV and yet it doesn’t begin to do justice to a career spanning 19 years that saw him play for seven clubs in seven countries, and bring a new Premier League dynasty to life in Manchester. helped in ,
Two years have passed since Toure ended his illustrious playing career and still the scale of his achievements in the sport, from Ivory Coast to international acclaim, is difficult for him to comprehend.
“My face can tell you; I’ll be glad. I’ll be surprised,” told Toure exclusively. sky game When asked what would he have done with his career at the age of 10. “In Messi’s time at Barcelona, at my best against Cristiano Ronaldo, in all these things, I’ve been in a good place.
“In the end I think you could say it was top, that it has been a wonderful career filled with success and trophies both individually and collectively. I couldn’t have asked for more.
“When players retire from football, some think they should continue more, but for me I was relieved and happy. My career path was incredible, the journey impressive and full of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. I really enjoyed it.”
Torrey came to attention rising through the ranks of ASEC Mimosas, a club with a rich history in the capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, but it was his birthplace, Bouack, where his love affair with football really began.
“I fell in love with football in Bouack when I was young,” he explained. “My eldest brother, he loves football, and he was playing for a team in the street near the community. After that, my other brother, Kolo, started playing and I followed his path.
“When I was in Ivory Coast, unfortunately we had no choice [to play football] Because I was one of nine kids. There were so many boys at the time, seven boys, I started to be devoted, because for me the ball was my time to take my breath away.”
Belgian club Beveren was the first to recognize Tour talent in Europe, signing as an 18-year-old in 2001, taking untimely talent across the continent before moving to Metalurh Donetsk in Ukraine, Olympiakos in Greece and Monaco in France. .
And it was during these formative years where the midfielder realized that he was in the right environment to make his football dreams come true, and that adaptation was needed to achieve his goals.
“In the beginning it was hard because of the culture, the food, the adaptation – I needed to adapt,” Toure said.
“While I was there, I realized that Europe is where I have to make my dream come true, playing with the best players, winning important trophies, being around the best players. My head just clicked since I got there. “I knew I needed to adapt. It took me six or seven months, but I do.”
It was not long before Barcelona’s knock, Toure further cemented his reputation during the trophy-laden three seasons under Pep Guardiola in Catalonia.
After securing seven major honours, including La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League treble in the 2008/09 season, Toure took on a new challenge, seeking great status at Manchester City and the rest was history.
“I wanted to be something unique,” Torrey recalled. “I wanted to be a legend. The plan was to go to a club, make a big impact and maybe one day be a legend.”
The term ‘legend’ is used much more frequently in football, but in the case of Toure, who made over 300 appearances during eight remarkable seasons at the Etihad Stadium and won every domestic honour, it arguably doesn’t go very far.
His winning goals against Manchester United and Stoke in the 2011 FA Cup semi-finals and final ended Manchester City’s 34-year wait for the trophy, changed the course of the club’s history and laid the foundation for the success they enjoyed. And that continues till today.
“The goal against United was in a really important derby, but when we won the trophy it made a real difference because everything changed after that,” he said.
“If you remember after that, the later years were when players started coming in easily, like they were joining Barcelona, because they knew something was going on there, something was changing, and the fans and The players started to believe.”
After giving so much on the pitch, Toure has now extended his hand towards the comeback. After coaching spells at Olympic Donetsk in Ukraine and Akhmat Grozny in Russia, he took a coaching role at Tottenham’s academy, where he oversees U16.
“As a coach I am really proud to work for Spurs because of the path they have been giving to African and Asian coaches, they have been doing it for centuries, and it is fantastic. I respect that and For that I am completely grateful.” Told.
“When I was a football player, I was able to play with Asian people, European, Eastern European, South American because in football when it comes to players you can see that there is diversity. If this diversity is with the coaches If you can, then it will be great because football is for everyone, everyone has to be involved in it.”
Celebrate the African Heroes of the Premier League throughout Black History Month and the Sky Sports and Sky Sports Football YouTube channels.