Football

Is Yaya Toure’s career drawing to a close?

Ivory Coast's midfielder Yaya Toure (C) raising the trophy at the end of the 2015 African Cup of Nations final football match between Ivory Coast and Ghana in Bata on February 8, 2015.
Ivory Coast's midfielder Yaya Toure (C) raising the trophy at the end of the 2015 African Cup of Nations final football match between Ivory Coast and Ghana in Bata on February 8, 2015. KHALED DESOUKI / AFP

Four-time African footballer of the year Yaya Toure called time on his Ivory Coast career on Tuesday, after fourteen years. And the mid-fielder's career at Manchester City could also come to an end unless he apologises for comments made by his agent, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

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Writing this note was probably "the most difficult match of my life", Yaya Toure wrote on Tuesday as he announced he was retiring from international football.

"After 14 years at the highest level, I'm sure this is the right time for me! The fact that I am 33 now, the intensity of training and the multitude of games are not the reasons why I am making this decision."

Pundits suspect it has to do with his light season at Manchester City. The former Barcelona star is currently trying to force his way back into the first team picture after being snubbed by new manager Pep Guardiola.

The midfielder's representative, Dimitri Seluk, recently said Guardiola humiliated his client by leaving him out of City's squad for the Champions League group stage.

That irritated Guardiola, who said that since then "Yaya is out."

"Unless he apologizes to Manchester City, his teammates, and the trainer, Yaya will [not] be part of the group," Guardiola said. "When that happens, he will have the same chance to play all the games."

Stellar career

The 33-year-old is yet to appear for City this season. Toure rose to fame alongside fellow Ivory Coast players Didier Drogba, his brother Kolo Toure and Gervinho, making his debut in 2004.

Toure made 102 appearances for Les Elephants scoring 19 goals, and captained the country to their first Africa Cup of Nations victory in 1992.

Yet for all his success at club level, including a Champions League with Barcelona in 2009, Toure says it was finally winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015 that remains his most precious memory.

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