The Manchester City midfielder has railed against the press, saying he is disgusted by the “bitter people” who have spread “bulls**t” about him in recent years
By Sam Lee
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has hit out at the “beasts” of the press in Britain and the Ivory Coast, saying negative reporting of his performances and achievements has left him feeling “disgusted”.
Toure says he has been criticised ever since he moved to the Etihad Stadium from Barcelona in 2010, when journalists focused on his pay packet – which, at around £250,000 per week, is still the highest at City.
The 32-year-old has had run-ins with the press before, most notably in the summer of 2014 when he and his agent alleged City had shown him a lack of respect – highlighting the failure to give him a birthday cake as an example – only to later claim stories about his intention to quit the club had been invented by reporters.
And he has now hit out at his doubters again, railing against the negative reporting of his form during 2014-15 campaign and claiming “bitter people” have spread lies in a bid to discredit him.
“In recent weeks, journalists have spoken about a new beginning for me,” he told L’Equipe. “But what new beginning?
“I’m coming off a season when Man City finished second in the Premier League, which is the most difficult in the world. The season before, I scored 26 goals, 20 in the Premier League, and it doesn’t get mentioned.
“Last season had to leave the club to join my national team who were playing the Africa Cup of Nations. I missed almost two months, and I then I was criticised for not scoring as many goals as the season before?!
“You understand a little my disgust. Here, when it’s bad, they [British journalists] highlight the faults. When it’s good, they say nothing.
“They have always used their little ways to annoy me to distraction. I often feel that I’m unhappy. A lot.
“We Africans, when we do a good job, we like to be rewarded, recognised. Because if a player is given fair value, we move faster. That’s what I think.
“When I came to City, in 2010, I heard people say here that I would kill football!
“I arrived from Barcelona as a player who had not played too much in those few months, and they did not understand. The journalists spoke of my salary, saying that it was a disgrace. But I was just at this club to help it grow and win titles.
“Many people, beasts, I must say, have laughed at me when I said that. They wondered what I, Yaya Toure, could do to change City. And did you see what happened next? We almost won everything.
“I did it, we did it… because I was not alone, of course, but no one said a thing. It’s a bit disgusting.
“These people are not very smart. I do not have the habit of making shock interviews, I only say what I think. I’ve suffered for years, and now I have decided to talk. I mean everything.
“Although many bitter people try to smear my name, spreading bulls**t, I also know that there are many young people who look at me. When people assault you, do not reply, because most of the time, they do not understand. Fortunately, the success and statistics speak for me.”
Toure also highlighted his frustrations with the press in his homeland, insisting that their reporting had turned fans and politicians against him and that he considered retiring from international football.
“With the Ivory Coast, it is the same … When you see people hate you when you come to defend the your country’s colours, it hurts you.
“I was denigrated, even through songs , politicians began to insult me. It hurts a lot. The national team doesn’t have anything to do with football any more. I love my country. If that was not the case, if I resented [my country], yes, I would have said ‘I quit’.”