Yaya Toure is proffering some audacious claims about ex-manager Pep Guardiola, claiming a need to “break the myth” of the Manchester City architect while essentially decrying him as racist against Africans.
[ MORE: Can off to Juve ]
The BBC contacted Man City, which declined comment. That seems smart given Toure’s combustible reputation and knack for living on the lunatic fringe.
While claims of racial inequity in football need to be carefully examined, this one seems a head-scratcher at first blush. Guardiola re-signed Toure to a one-year deal after the 2016-17 season despite being a headache for Pep during the boss’ first season, and really across two clubs.
In his career, Guardiola has managed African players like Toure (Ivory Coast), and signed Seydou Keita to Barcelona (Mali) and Mehdi Benatia (Morocco) to Bayern Munich. He’s linked with Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) again this summer, and has sold Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast) and Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria).
This, of course, is without mentioning the myriad players of African descent who’ve thrived under the Catalan boss.
Guardiola butted heads with Toure at both Barca, selling him, and Man City, suspending him, but it all seemed to come together this season for the pair. Toure even had his name put on one of the club’s training fields.
And Yaya, like a man flicking a lighter, has set it ablaze again , and not like a birthday candle. Why did it not come off well with Pep and Yaya in stint No. 2 at City? From the BBC’s translation of Toure’s France Football interview.
“I do not know why but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival. As if I made him a little shade.
“He was cruel to me. I came to wonder if it was not because of my colour. I am not the first to talk about these differences in treatment. In Barca, some have also asked the question. When we realize he often has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.
“I want to be the one who breaks the myth of Guardiola.”
And again, comments like these are a concern in most cases, but Toure is a pretty unique case with a penchant for making controversy. Whether cake-related or other.