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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Ex-Man City and Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure retires

The 35-year-old, a four-time African Footballer of the Year, will move into coaching, according to his agent.

Yaya (right) alongside City captain Vincent Kompany and his brother Kolo Toure (left) after his final Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium in May 2018.
Yaya (right) alongside City captain Vincent Kompany and his brother Kolo Toure (left) after his final Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium in May 2018.
Image: Martin Rickett

MANCHESTER CITY LEGEND Yaya Toure is heading into retirement at the age of 35, his agent Dimitri Seluk has revealed.

The former Ivory Coast international, who also represented the likes of Barcelona and Monaco at the peak of his career, is set to explore a move into coaching and management.

The final outings of his distinguished career came during a second spell at Greek giants Olympiakos.

It is, however, for his time at Camp Nou and the Etihad Stadium that he is best known.

Toure spent three years with Barca, winning the Liga title and Champions League. He moved to City in 2010 and helped them to three Premier League crowns, two League Cup successes and an FA Cup win – with his goal in the 2011 final getting the club back on the trophy trail.

Toure, who was named African Footballer of the Year on four occasions, left England at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, but a man who earned 101 caps for his country is now walking away from competitive football for good.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Barcelona v Manchester United - Olympic Stadium Toure in action for Barcelona against Man United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2009 Champions League final. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

“Yaya decided to end his career as a champion,” Seluk told Sport24. “The farewell match, when he won the Premier League title with Manchester City was, in principle, the real end of his playing career. Not only in this team, but in general.”

“Yaya is one of the best players in Africa and he had one of the brightest careers in the history of African football.

“Therefore, he should also leave football beautifully, at the peak. We talked for a long time on this topic.

“Of course, every football player wants to play for as long as possible. In terms of his physical condition, Yaya could do this at a sufficiently high level for another five years.

But we came to the conclusion that he, the football player who played for Barcelona and Manchester City, could not lower the bar.

“We see many players who continue their careers at a mature age, and this is commendable. But Yaya and I chose a different path — to leave as a champion and start a new stage in life with a career as a coach.

“In this, I am sure, Yaya will reach even greater heights that those he achieved as a football player. There are no African coaches in the English Premier League.”

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