Football

Ex-African player of the year Yaya Toure retires from football

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Toure playing for Olympiakos

Former Manchester City, Barcelona and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has retired from playing and will move into coaching, his agent has said.

The 35-year-old has not played since having his contract at Greek side Olympiakos terminated in December 2018.

He moved to Greece following his release by Manchester City last summer after winning three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups.

“Yaya has decided to end his career as a champion,” agent Dimitri Seluk said.

Last month Toure told the BBC he had no immediate plans to retire from football and had not ruled out playing in the Middle East, United States or Asia.

But Seluk said: “The farewell match which Manchester City gave him was, in principle, the real end of his playing career, not only in that team, but in general.”

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Seluk, who was speaking to Russian website Sport 24 and endorsed the article on his Twitter account, continued: “Yaya is one of the best players in Africa and had one of the brightest careers in the history of African football, so should leave football at its peak.

“Of course every footballer wants to play as long as possible and in terms of his physical condition Yaya could do this at a sufficiently high level for another five years.”

The four-time African Footballer of the Year won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2009 before spending eight years with Manchester City, for whom he scored 79 times in 316 appearances including the winner in the 2011 FA Cup final.

He won 101 caps for Ivory Coast and played at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

“I’m sure that two years after Yaya gets the Pro coaching licence, he will head one of the serious clubs and achieve great success in the coaching field. Now he has already begun to take steps in this direction,” Seluk added.

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BBC

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