In an exclusive interview with the Times, Manchester City legend Yaya Toure looks back on the conversations that lead up to his arrival at the Etihad Stadium in 2010.
Would Manchester City have achieved what they have achieved over the past decade, if it wasn’t for the influence of Yaya Toure? The impact of the legendary midfielder on the Etihad Stadium is up there with one of the most powerful and influential stints ever witnessed at the club, and in an exclusive interview with the Times, Yaya Toure looks back on the phone call that started it all off…
It was a summer transfer window that saw two of the Premier League’s all-time greats arrive at very similar times, with David Silva’s arrival coinciding with the signing of the Ivorian. Toure recalled a specific conversation with the then chief executive, Garry Cook, prior to his arrival.
Toure said: “I was on the phone with Garry Cook. He promised me he was going to bring players to help me to do great things at City. I said, ‘Sign Silva first, [and] I will come.’
Silva was saying, ‘Sign Yaya first and I will come!’ I said to Silva, ‘Sign! I am not going to run off!’ He didn’t believe me because I was at Barcelona, one of the top teams in the world. But it was time for change. Kolo told me to come. I have to listen to him.”
In fact, from the moment Yaya Toure arrived at the Etihad Stadium in 2010, his belief to change the mentality of the club was clear, as the midfielder recalls how nobody seemed to take him seriously when he wanted to ‘make City one of the greatest teams in the Premier League‘.
Toure went on to say: “When I come to City, I said, ‘I come here to win and make City one of the greatest teams in the Premier League.’ People were laughing at me in the beginning. I make my team-mates realise what we can become by starting with one trophy, the FA Cup.
The following year we won the Premier League and after that the team start to be a great team…”
In his eight seasons with the current Premier League champions, Yaya Toure amassed 316 appearances, scoring 81 goals and providing 50 assists. Adding to that remarkable goal contribution, Toure secured eight major trophies for the club, including a treble of Premier League and League Cup titles – firmly placing the Ivorian midfielder in the Hall of Fame in the English game.
You can follow us for live updates here: @City_Xtra