Former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has announced his retirement from football, his agent, Dmitry Selyuk disclosed in a recent interview. The Ivorian plans to delve into coaching and is in the process of completing his qualification.
Toure who kickstarted his professional career in Belgium with Beveren before spells with Ukrainian club Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, Monaco and Barcelona hangs his boots with 17 trophies, including three Premier League titles, the La Liga title and the Champions League.
‘I say this for the first time — Yaya decided to end his career as a champion. 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.
He continued, ‘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 and 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.’
However, Selyuk revealed said that promises were not kept about the possibility of Toure becoming Greek side Olympiacos’ assistant manager.
‘Turning to Olympiacos, we agreed that Yaya will be an assistant coach who, while still playing, would study and receive a coaching licence. The owner of Olympiacos, where Yaya began his career, promised that he would give such an opportunity. But when Yaya went there, unfortunately, many in the club did not take to this idea with a bang and nobody wanted to share their rights.
‘Therefore, Yaya terminated the contract even though he could remain in the team continuing to receive money. But I repeat once again – Yaya’s career was gorgeous, and he is not a beggar who is ready for anything for money.’
Toure will be a Sky Sports pundit for City’s title-decider against Brighton on Sunday. He hopes to be considered for coaching roles in Russia and Ukraine.
‘I’m sure that two years after Yaya gets the pro coaching license, he will head to one of the serious clubs and achieve great success in the coaching field. Now he has already begun to take steps in this direction.’ Selyuk concluded.
Premier League: 3
La Liga: 2
League Cup: 2
Champions League: 1
FA Cup: 1
Copa del Rey: 1
Africa Cup of Nations: 1
African Footballer Of The Year award: 4