In a candid interview with Paul Hirst, departing Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure admitted that he has not received the respect he deserves. He also hopes that the storyline will change once he retires from football.
Toure has been a key cog in the Manchester City side for years, ever since his arrival from Barcelona in 2010. He won 7 titles during his stay at the Etihad Stadium, including 3 Premier League titles and made over 300 appearances. Alongside David Silva, Vincent Kompany, and Sergio Aguero, he was the spine of the Blues team which dominated British football.
However, since the arrival of Pep Guardiola, Yaya Toure has found himself relegated mostly to the bench. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva have all made it ahead of him in the pecking order, and the 34-year old regrets having to spend the last 2 seasons in the sidelines. He said,” I don’t think I will be sad. I will be happy. Why? Because I’m going to say: ‘What these fans and what this club wants from me, I have given to them.’It’s like I’m empty. I’m free to go. I will be released, to go and assess my duty in a different club.”
City fans, will, however, never forget his contribution to the club, especially his goal against eternal rivals Manchester United in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final. He was also named in the Team Of The Year when City won the Premier League title the following season. The club’s chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak has decided to rename the club’s training ground after Toure, and he was also asked by Kompany to lift the Premier League trophy following their 3-1 win against Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Ivorian feels he has another season or two of top-level football left in him. He signed off by saying,” I’d like to play in the Champions League again. When I came to City, for them to be a big club, we had to put them in their shadow.”
“That was the purpose. To come to City, to put United in the shadow.”