Yaya Touré is a box to box midfielder for Manchester City and the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire). Full name Gnégnéri Yaya Touré, the tenacious midfielder was born on May 13, 1983 in Bouaké, Ivory Coast. He moved to Europe in 2001 to play for Belgian side Beveren, before travelling around Europe to play for teams including Metalurh Donetsk in Ukraine, Olympiakos in Greece, and AS Monaco in France.
Formerly of Barcelona too, the 6 foot 3 player is an indomitable force at the heart of both club and country teams. His style is a mix of sharp passing coupled with incredible physical power. Touré has the pace and athleticism to match anybody, but goes beyond this with his well-built physique and sharp football mind allowing him to use such attributes to their best potential.
Touré isn’t just a powerhouse player though. He can play deep, defensive roles in midfield and even center back, but his skill and technical ability mean he’s able to dribble whilst running at extreme pace, making him even more dangerous on the attack. His set piece skills make him one of the most feared free kick takers in the English Premier League as well, and the cool, composed mentality means he’s deadly from the penalty spot.
Yaya Touré is not a player short of accolades. He was voted the African Footballer of the Year for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Whilst at Barcelona he was part of the historic team that won six trophies in one season in 2009, meaning he has winners’ medals for La Liga (twice), the Copa Del Rey, Supercopa De Espana, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
In addition to these he has also won the Côte d'Ivoire Premier Division, the Super League Greece and the Greek Cup, the Premier League twice with Manchester City, the FA Cup, the Football League Cup, the Community Shield, and BBC African Footballer of the Year 2013.
For all these awards though Yaya Touré still isn’t held in the same regards as former teammates Iniesta and Xavi, and both Touré and his current teammates feel that’s down to nationality.
"If he wasn’t African, everyone would say he’s the best midfielder in the world."
- Samir Nasri
"To be honest, proper recognition has only come from the fans. I don't want to be hard and I don't want to be negative, but I want to be honest."
- Yaya Touré
This year's World Cup in Brazil will be Touré’s third and potentially his last at 30 years old. It is the third consecutive World Cup that Ivory Coast have qualified for, and this time round they have avoided a ‘Group of Death’, landing in a fair group with Japan, Colombia, and Greece. Touré will be hoping his 82 caps provide the experience and guile to lead the Ivory Coast to glory this summer.
You can find the official Yaya Touré shirts above, as well as other Ivory Coast and Manchester City shirts, kits, and merchandise through the navigation menus for the Soccer Box shop.