Despite being better known as a lyric in a chant affectionately adopted by Brits abroad, Yaya Toure was a very good player once upon a time and dons a host of impressive silverware.
Yaya Toure was one of those names who passed through the door on Manchester City’s ascent to footballing stardom under the generous guide of oil-rich owner Sheikh Mansour.
Having represented Spanish giants Barcelona for three years, and enjoying considerable success, Toure made his way over to the blue side of Manchester to team up with brother Kolo, who had made the switch the year before.
Following the completion of the deal estimated to be worth upwards of £28 million former City boss Roberto Mancini said (via the Telegraph): “This is another fantastic signing for Manchester City and I am very pleased Yaya has joined us, he is a very good player.
“Everyone knows Yaya is a player that we have admired for a long time and we would like to welcome him to Manchester City.
“He has played at the top level with Barcelona and I am sure his experience and ability will be very important for us.”
And what a player he turned out to be.
Without wanting to reduce his efforts too much: he was a powerhouse. A genuine engine that could not be stopped when he started chugging. In a way, Yaya Toure was cheating. He was too good. No man should be gifted with both speed, raw power and agility – but here he was, making it look so ridiculously easy.
But after eight illustrious years, three Premier League titles and four domestic cups, and 79 goals in 316 appearances, Toure’s Manchester City journey came to an end.
He would join Olympiakos soon after being released.
His move to Greece surprised many – especially us. Indeed, we always got the impression there was more left in the tank for Yaya Toure. Yes, his pace and power were lacking a little, but that evidently was not his game anymore. He still managed to lethargically meander around the pitch and make things look so easy. A contrast which revealed both the coolness of his play and the standard intensity of Premier League football.
Regardless, Olympiakos did not quite work out for him and after only three months and five appearances, his contract was mutually terminated.
He remains a free agent.