Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure
NameYaya Toure
BirthdayMay 13, 1983



One of the less celebrated members of Barcelona’s all-conquering 2009 side, Yaya Toure was the defensive midfield lynchpin and played a key role in their success.

A graduate of the Mimosas youth team in the Ivory Coast, Toure joined Belgian side Beveren before moving to Metalurg Donetsk, Olympiakos, Monaco, and then Barca.

His versatility should not be underestimated. That he can play effectively in defence is well known after his performance in the 2009 Champions League final against Manchester United, but he also operated as an attacking midfielder for Monaco.

Despite his impressive performances at Camp Nou, he struggled for first-team football in the 2009-10 season following the emergence of Sergio Busquets and, at the end of the campaign, he made a big-money move to the Premier League with Manchester City where he will be reunited with his brother, Kolo.

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.

Yaya Toure