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Yaya Touré rejects critics in Foot Mercato interview

In an interview with our colleagues at Foot Mercato, Manchester City midfielder Yaya Touré has rejected criticism of his performances this season. 

On media criticism…

“It is true that some of you, the media, have not been very nice about me since a certain moment, but that is easily explainable. When you compare the end of last season that I had with the beginning of this one, one can think that I am performing less well. I am trying to do better each match, for me that is the rhythm of great players, and from now on until the end of the season I will be at least as good as I was at the end of last season, God willing.”

“We are dealing with a bit of a difficult start to the season, but it is not catastrophic. When you are the champions of England, you are expected to do a lot more than the clubs that finished in the middle of the table. The truth is that we are not winning as much as at the beginning of last season and for whatever reason the media are tending to put all the weight of these defeats on me. Are my statistics bad? I am not sure, and I remember I remain a central midfielder. Have I had a dip in form? As I said, I am trying to do better each game because my barometer is the fans, not all these “Sunday pundits” who analyse us all…”

“You know, today everybody has become a football expert. It is not the right time to look back on my time at City because I have not without a doubt finished writing my history with this club. For you, I have proved it all, but for some it feels like I have not yet done enough. According to certain papers, I must still improve, earn my place! I am a defensive midfielder and, today, people reproach me for not scoring goals.”

“As I said, my barometer is the fans and not the critics or people who voluntarily engage with those who critique what I have done. They even “poo” on my European championship titles with Barcelona, my performances as top goalscorer last year with City… My barometer is the fans! They are the only reason why I keep giving.”

On the Champions League…

“I am underway with my fifth season at Manchester City, five seasons full of challenges that we have, for the most part, managed to overcome thanks to our own work. Today, City is a club that has its place on the European scene if we are able to collect all our ingredients. The challenge that remains for us is the European one, and one of my regrets would be to leave without winning a continental trophy, something that our fans deserve.”

On Sergio Aguero…

“Sergio is a fantastic goalscorer, the worst nightmare of the English defenders in my eyes. Who is better Sergio or Messi? That is an Argentinian-Argentinian question. You should ask Zabaleta!”

On Africa’s lack of success at the World Cup…

“The difficulty for African terms is based on the fact that we do not have a dynamic league on our continent. At the World Cup, we face teams where most of the players play in big American or European clubs. African teams are made up of only a few players of a world class level. If you compare Argentina and Ghana, or Holland and Nigeria, it is difficult. It is important that Africa develops its leagues, to make them more competitive.”

On racism…

“I think it is sad that in 2014, FIFA is forced to shut down stadiums because of racism. In my view, racism is a result of lack of education. Instead of punishing them, it is important to educate people, to teach them tolerance and to respect others. Football is universal.”

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