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Friday, 10 January 2014

MEET THE MAN, YAYA TOURE


Yaya Toure is one of the most respected Ivory Coast players. Relatively young in age and career, he has achieved what no other Ivorian player has done – winning the UEFA Champions League, with club side Barcelona in 2009. 

His height and thick build blend solidly with his techniques of hacking and hampering menacing movements from adversaries. His style of play resembles that of French player Patrick Vieira. 

Like a number of Ivory Coast’s new generation players, Toure was groomed at Asec Mimosas’ Mimosifcom – a reputable football academy attended by many lads from across the West African sub-region. His talent was convincing, his ambition was burning, but the environment wasn’t conducive enough, thus he left for Europe, in search of greener pastures. 

Debuting at Beverin, Belgium, Toure would tour a number of European clubs, seeking a base and a breakthrough. Amongst these clubs where he proved his worth and gained some trust are: Beverin (Belgium – 2001-04), Metalurg Donetsk (Ukraine – 2004-05), Olympiacos (Greece – 2005-07), and Monaco (France – 2006-07). 

But it was his move to Barcelona in 2007 on a £7.8 million deal that brought the long-sought breakthrough. Winning in the treble in the 2008-09 season with Barcelona, Toure seemed to have been catapulted to the peak of his professional career, with nothing better or more to grab. 


Yaya Touré then moved to Premier League club Manchester City in 2010, where he has since scored a number of key goals for the Citizens – most notably the only goals in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final and Final. Touré has a distinguished international career with 74 caps for Ivory Coast, representing the team in their first appearance in a FIFA World Cup, in the 2006 competition and in2010. He is the younger brother of his Ivory Coast and former Manchester City teammate Kolo Touré.


At international level, Toure has earned over 50 caps for Ivory Coast and played at both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Strengths: He combines strength, poise on the ball and skill. He may be known as a defensive midfielder but he is no slouch when it comes to going on the offensive.
Weaknesses: Considering his lofty stature, Toure is not as impressive in the air as might be expected.
Career High: Treble triumph with Barcelona in 2009 - collecting winners' medals for the Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey.
Career Low: Being passed up by Arsenal. Yaya wanted to join his brother Kolo at the Gunners, his brother wanted him there, but Arsene Wenger had an initial bid rejected by Olympiakos and never returned with a second offer.
Style: A powerful midfield general with the ball-playing ability necessary to be part of a free-flowing side.
Quotes: "It was a sad decision because everybody wants to come to Barca and I have had to leave, but not playing has been difficult. I am coming to City to help them grow and reach the level of Manchester United and Chelsea." - Yaya Toure, July 2010
Trivia: Yaya and Kolo's younger brother Ibrahim also plays professional football, as a striker for Smouha Sporting Club in Egypt, though he has never been capped by Ivory Coast.
He’s currently a mid-fielder with the English team, Manchester City.

·         Full Name: Yaya Toure
·         Squad No: 42
·         Position: Midfielder
·         Age: 30
·         Birth Date: May 13, 1983
·         Birth Place: Sokoura Bouake, Ivory Coast
·         Height: 6' 3'' (1.91m)
·         Weight: 79 kg

Did You Know?
Besides Manchester City’s captain Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure has another footballer brother named Ibrahim who plays for Ittihad in Syria. 

Awards
Olympiacos – Greek Super League (2005-06)
Olympiacos – Greek Cup (2005-06)
Barcelona – Spanish League (2008-09)
Barcelona – Spanish Cup (2008-09)
Barcelona – Spanish Super cup (2009)
Barcelona – UEFA Champions League (2008-09)
Barcelona – UEFA Super Cup (2009)
Barcelona – FIFA Club World Cup (2009) 




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