An opponent’s praise is high flattery indeed, even if it ends up being masked in humour. Yaya Toure is all set to leave City at the end of this season, bringing to a close what is arguably one of the finest stints that a midfielder has enjoyed at any club.
His stay from 2010 onwards has culminated in three Premier League titles and other domestic glories, and it has seen him square up against some of the finest players in England and Europe.
However, when quizzed on who has been the toughest player he squared up against, the Ivory Coast international had an interesting remark.
Speaking about former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, Toure jokingly stated: “I hate him, this b******! He’s such a difficult player to play against. Tall and strong as well. It’s been fun to play against him, even though it’s difficult. He’s powerful, he’s tall.”
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That wasn’t the end of the praises, as he continued: “To be able to find an opponent to play against me and stop me… there’s few of them, but Matic was one of the close ones who was able to give me problems. He can run. He can fall back. He can track. He can fight. He’s a good, good player.”
As for who was his favored teammate: “Everybody knows I have a feeling for Aguero. I love Aguero. This guy is such a good striker. He’s complete.
“I love David Silva and [captain] Vincent Kompany as well.I’m going to miss my teammates, I’m going to miss my little [Raheem] Sterling, my little [Leroy] Sane. They look like my babies.”
The game against Brighton will be dedicated to him for his years of service to the club. However, he has declared that he intends to stay on in the Premier League next season.