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Gnégnéri Yaya Touré

Number Number 42

D.O.B.

13th May 1983

Birthplace

Sekoura Bouake, Cote d'Ivoire

Height

6 ft 3 in

Nickname

Yaya

Position

Midfield

Signed

2nd July 2010

Fee

£24m

Former Clubs

ASEC Mimosas, Beveren, Metalurg Donetsk, Olympiakos, Monaco, Barcelona

International

Ivory Coast, 78 caps, 16 goals

Pen Pic

by Skoorb

Gnégnéri Yaya Touré, one of three footballing brothers, began his career as a youth with Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas in 1996 before he moved to Beveren aged 18 in 2001, spending two full seasons with the Belgian side before joining Ukrainian side Metalurg Donetsk in 2003.

After further spells with Olympiakos and Monaco enhanced his reputation yet further, Yaya became the first Ivorian to be signed by Barcelona who paid around £9m for his services in 2007.

Toure's decision to join City in 2010 seemed to throw many of the football commentators in the English game. After making 118 appearances for Spanish giants Barcelona you would have thought that they might just think he had something about him but it is one of my abiding memories listening to more than one radio or TV hack giving it large about his wages and transfer fee during his first few games in the Premier League and how they couldn't believe that he was worthy of either.

Possessed with skilful feet for such a big man and capable of powerful runs from midfield he can be both brilliant and frustrating. Often seeming to need the first half of games to warm up, he remains an enigma and at times has been the subject of comment from Blues fans as to whether it was part of his contract that he couldn't be substituted unless injured.

However, winning goals in the famous FA Cup semi-final defeat of the rags and the final against Stoke followed by crucial goals in the penultimate 'must win' game against Newcastle to put City in touching distance of their first title in 44 years emphasised his contribution to the rise of City under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour and made the hacks eat their words big time. A Champions League winner with the Catalans in 2009 coupled with winners medals from La Liga (2008-9, 2009-10), the UEFA Super Cup (2009) & the Copa Del Rey (2008-9) you would think they'd have given him a bit of time to settle in and demonstrate his abilities before they rubbished him. Ooops.

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