Former Manchester City mainstay Yaya Toure caused a stir this past week by claiming that Pep Guardiola had a dislike for African players.
The Ivory Coast superstar had commented: “He was cruel with me. Do you believe that Barcelona could have done that with (Andres) Iniesta? I even started wondering to myself whether it was about my colour.
“I’m not the first person to talk about his different ways of treating people. I know some other people at Barca who have also wondered about that. Maybe it’s the case that we Africans aren’t always treated by certain people in the same way that they treat others.
“When you see that he’s had problems with Africans wherever he’s been in the past, you wonder. When the day comes that he picks a team featuring five Africans – and not naturalised Africans – I promise I will send him a cake!”
WATCH: 7 Things That Will Happen If Lionel Messi Wins The World Cup
However, Pep Guardiola is in no mood to be branded as a racial discriminator, and has therefore dismissed these allegations straightaway
“It’s a lie and he knows it,” the Spaniard said when asked about Toure’s comments. “We were together for two years and now this is when he says it. He never told me face to face.”
Toure has twice been sold by Guardiola to other clubs now. In his first coaching gig with the record-breaking Barcelona team of the late noughties and early on this decade, Guardiola began his reign by getting rid of many players.
These included Deco and Ronaldinho in his first summer. Toure, along with Henry, Rafael Marquez, and Samuel Eto’o, were the ones dispensed with during his second season in charge.
Toure found himself under an unimpressed Guardiola once again when the gaffer moved to City from his Bayern job in 2016. He is probably not an unbiased evaluator of Guardiola’s attitude towards race, as his comments make clear.