Yaya: I want City to be bigger than United

The Ivory Coast international is back in the Pep Guardiola’s team and wants his side to replicate their rivals’ trophy-winning exploits

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure wants to eclipse Manchester United after earning a reprieve in his Eastlands career.

Toure’s decorated spell with City looked set to reach an unseemly end after a public spat between manager Pep Guardiola and the player’s agent Dimitri Seluk left him out of the first-team picture.

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The 33-year-old made a belated public apology and returned to City’s starting line-up in memorable style last month, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Guardiola’s men have won all four Premier League matches started by Toure this term, with the former Ivory Coast international playing a stylish, assured hand to lay the foundations for Sunday’s second-half turnaround against Arsenal.

Toure is out of contract at the club he joined in 2010 at the end of the current campaign but maintains he has unfinished business having regained form and match fitness – most notably making a dent in United’s record mark of 20 English titles.

“I came to this club to make history,” he told reporters. “I want this club to change, I want this club to be bigger than United. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but that’s my dream.

“I have been lucky to play at big clubs – Barcelona, Olympiacos. Those teams were always used to being champions. But City, it was something different, something changing and I am happy now. Every single year we are always involved in the title race.

“Even though we lost, and something changed or something was bad, the following year the owner put more money into the club and got better players to make it better. That’s what I like, the challenge, I love a challenge.

“I want to make something very important. I already won two Premier League titles and I want more than that, another new story.”

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Along with that brace of Premier League winners’ medals, Toure has also scored in FA Cup and League Cup triumphs at Wembley in 2011 and 2014, before scoring the decisive penalty as City regained the latter trophy in a shoot-out against Liverpool earlier this year.

And despite cutting a seemingly dejected figure at times over the past two seasons, when his commitment to the cause has been called into question, Toure insists he retains a youthful enthusiasm and deep affection for the club.

“I feel 20 now,” he added. “My role is to keep the team moving, win the ball, organise, talk to the players, I have the experience. We are a team that wants to play football but sometimes you have to tell the players to be careful, especially on the counter-attack.

“I belong on the field. But even if I’m not playing I want to be at the stadium to watch. I always want to progress. I will be fully prepared for any situation. I will give 100 per cent for this club, for these fans. These fans are the only ones who always sing my name, who give happiness to my family.

“If I can do more for them I will do it. I always fight to make the team one step better.”

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