Football articles

How much praise does Yaya Toure want?


Toure is widely recognised as one of the best players in the world

So Yaya Toure thinks he is not rated because he’s African. What a load of tosh. Obviously, being pinpointed as Manchester City’s main source of danger before every game, and being lauded nearly every day, either on television or in newspapers, particularly by Jamie Redknapp, is not considered enough for Toure. The Ivory Coast international is arguably, and is often referred to as being, the best at what he does in his position, and one of the most effective players in the world overall.

He told the BBC: ‘If you go to any part of Africa now, people will say, ‘‘Yes, we know Messi’’, but when you come to Europe and say, ‘‘Yaya Toure’’ people will say, ‘‘Who is that?’’ Some will say they know my name, but not know my face. But they will know Messi’s face.’

Though he didn’t mention Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese and Messi are widely recognised as the two best players in the world at the present time – and for the past six or seven years. After them it could be anyone from Gareth Bale to Neymar to, yes, the aforementioned Mr. Toure. And that is a common view held by players, pundits and journalists alike.

Could it be that Messi has more recognition, both facially and professionally, because he’s been performing wonders week-in, week-out for longer than Toure; and at a higher level (Champions League), winning every club competition there is to win? Hardly a month seems to go by without he and Ronaldo breaking some sort of goalscoring record. And it’s always the players regularly putting the ball over the goal line that get the plaudits, and who kids want to emulate as that’s where the personal euphoria and glory lay. Toure has a keen eye for goal himself now, having gradually moved further and further up the pitch. But he hasn’t set the world alight for as long as Messi and Ronaldo.

However much City are establishing themselves in the top four in England thus qualifying for the Champions League, they are not historically or presently significant and as good as the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid. As I said, Toure is considered by me and numerous others as one of the best, most effective players in the world, but one reason why someone like fellow African George Weah was recognised worldwide was because he was playing for one of the best supported club sides on Earth in AC Milan. It appears City are gradually getting to that level, but clubs like Milan have built up their following through decades of winning titles. Being from the African country of Liberia didn’t harm him when it came to people knowing his face and being crowned FIFA World Player of the Year and acquiring the Ballon d’Or in 1995 (they were two separate entities at the time).

If Toure wants even more people to ‘know his face’ then he should inform his manager Manuel Pellegrini that he wants to play further up the pitch (the way he’s going he’ll be competing in the stands before long), so he can score more goals – forwards are usually the most famous – and make sure City win or at least get close to winning the Champions League. Maybe then he’ll be dan’ wiv da kidz in a bigger way than what he thinks he is at the moment.

Does Yaya Toure get enough recognition?

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