Yaya Touré has launched a stinging attack on the media in England and Ivory Coast, insisting that he has been treated unfairly for his performances with Manchester City, claiming: “I have won titles, lots of money, but I am not happy.”
Touré told L’Equipe on Monday that his goalscoring record deserves more praise and that he is deeply hurt and sickened by “lots of bitter people who tried to dirty my name”. The 32-year-old has scored once this season in 11 appearances for City, who are top of the Premier League after nine games.
“Journalists have spoken about a new departure for me,” Touré said. “But what new departure? I have just come out of a season with City where we finished second in the English league, which is the hardest in the world.
Of his goalscoring exploits in the 2013/14 season, Touré added: “I scored 26 goals, 20 in the Premier League, and nobody mentioned it. You understand a bit my disgust. Here, when it is bad, they stress it; when it’s good, they leave that in the dungeon. They have always used their little methods to annoy and alienate me.”
Last season Touré scored only half of that tally – 13 in total, 10 of which came in the Premier League – but still had an impressive campaign with City, especially considering that before 2014-15 his brother Ibrahim died of cancer while Touré was at the World Cup. Furthermore, at the start of 2015 Touré missed six matches for City – of which the Manchester club won just one – to represent the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, with the central midfielder captaining his country to their first triumph in the competition since 1992.
“That was my biggest desire, my most important project, it happened, finally, after losing two finals,” Touré said. “I lifted the trophy as the captain of Les Éléphants. Exceptional, unforgettable. I did my job, won Afcon, and subtly, the most unloved individual in the Ivory Coast became the best-loved for a little while.
“They said that I fought with Didier [Drogba], with Zokora, and even Kolo, my own brother … and they denigrated me, even through songs. Politicians insulted me. That hurts, that hurts a lot. The national team, it no longer has anything to do with football.”
Touré was linked with a move abroad in the summer, after his agent Dimitri Seluk claimed in May that the Ivorian was “90% certain to leave Manchester City.” Internazionale emerged as the most likely destination, with the Italian club’s vice-president, Javier Zanetti, claiming they were close to signing the African.
In May 2014, Seluk also said that Touré was considering leaving Citybecause he was “treated him with disrespect” after the club failed to address a “number of things that have left Yaya feeling bitterly upset”, which included Touré feeling underappreciated on his birthday.
“People thought that I was going to leave because of all that, but they forget that I am an honest person who keeps his word,” Touré continued. “Even if there were lots of bitter people who tried to dirty my name.
“When I arrived at City, in 2010, I heard a lot of people say, here, that I was going to kill football! The journalists were talking about my salary and saying that it was a disgrace. They asked what I, Yaya Touré, was going to change at City. And so, did you see what happened next? We won nearly everything. In fact, it is recognition that I do not have that hurts me. It is a bit sickening.
“I do not want my two sons in football. I do not want them to have to go through everything that I have endured. It has hurt me. Everyone thinks I am happy: I have won titles, lots of money, but, no, I am not happy.