Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yaya Touré

Gnégnéri Yaya Touré (born 13 May 1983), commonly known as Yaya Touré, is an Ivorian footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the Côte d'Ivoire national side. He plays with the name Touré Yaya on his jersey.

He is renowned for combining speed and physical power with technique and has 58 caps for Côte d'Ivoire, representing the team in their first appearance in a FIFA World Cup, in the 2006 competition as well as in 2010. He is the younger brother of his Côte d'Ivoire and Manchester City teammate Kolo Touré. He also has a younger brother named Ibrahim who currently plays for Egyptian side Makasa.

On 2 July, Touré signed a five-year deal with Manchester City for a fee of around £24 million and was allocated squad number 42, which is the reverse of the number 24 jersey he sported at Barcelona, since Patrick Vieira had already been allocated that number. The move teamed Touré up with his elder brother Kolo, who signed for City in July 2009. On 28 July, Touré made his debut for City in a pre-season friendly against Club América, which City won 4–1 on penalties after a 1–1 draw with the Mexican side. In his home debut on 7 August, in another friendly match against Valencia, he was named man of the match.

On 14 August 2010, Touré made his Premier League debut in a 0–0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. A week later, Touré impressed in the 3–0 defeat of Liverpool at Eastlands, forming a part of a three man midfield with Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong. On 19 September, Touré scored his first goal against Wigan Athletic. The goal was scored in the 70th minute and Toure was assisted by Carlos Tévez who scored in that match too. Recently, Touré has been seen to have taken up a more attacking position under Roberto Mancini and has revelled so far, setting up Tévez against Bolton Wanderers. He scored a brilliant left-footed drive against West Ham United and soon scored a second, which was later credited as an own goal because the ball rebounded off the post into Robert Green's back and bounced in. He scored his third goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a delightful counter-attack move, with Yaya making up 90 yards to latch onto the ball and fire if past the goalkeeper, with Manchester City eventually winning 4–3.Touré's fifth goal for City came on the 25 February in a Europa League game against Aris Thessaloniki, the goal was a deflected strike to make the score 3–0 to City.

On 16 April 2011, Touré scored the only goal of the game in a Man of the Match performance against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final. Touré continued his Wembley success by scoring the only goal in his side's 1–0 win over Stoke City in the 2011 FA Cup Final, ending Manchester City's 35 year wait for a major trophy, and writing himself into Manchester City folklore in the process. The following season began strongly as Manchester City were leading the table for the majority of the season, with Toure playing a vital part in midfield. His efforts were rewarded as he was crowned African Footballer of the Year for 2011, an impressive achievement for a midfielder, since the previous 12 awards have gone to African forwards. On 3 January 2012, Tourè scored City's second goal of the game, a 33rd minute header from a David Silva corner. The match finished 3-0 to City. On 5 January, it was announced that Tourè would be heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations and would miss City's FA Cup third round clash with fierce rivals Manchester United.

No comments: