When it comes to midfield supremacy in the Premier League, few names can compare to the sheer brilliance of Yaya Toure.
Functioning at Manchester City having arrived from Barcelona, the Ivorian international was a crucial part of the Sky Blues steady ascent to the top of Premier League football.
At his best, opponents dreaded the sheer physicality of Toure who often paired it with a deft skillset and a sense of creativity that saw his moves culminate into goals on scores of occasions.
However, when it came to naming a player against whom he found it tricky to function, Toure’s answer may leave you surprised.
Speaking to the Times, Yaya Toure named Nemanja Matic to be the player he found to be most difficult to play against across his entire career, stating: “Nemanja Matic was complicated. He’s not quick but he’s so strong, clever. All the rest of the opponents, because I always looked at them carefully before games, I get their weakness.”
This is a clear-cut indication that the Serbian international was a force to be reckoned it. The above encounters likely occurred during his days as at Chelsea, wherein his abilities as a holding midfielder were repeatedly hailed to be top-class and often hailed to make a crucial difference for both the London Blues and later on for Manchester United.
However, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Matic appears to have lost both his spot and role in the first-team, as his age and proneness to injuries make it difficult to show the past allure.
Toure, on the other hand, is still reminiscent of his time in England, and gutted about lost silverware, adding: “I didn’t do enough. I missed winning the Champions League with City. There’s a lot of pressure. The Champions League is all the great teams, they are clever, they have this sharpness.”