Ivoirian superstar Yays Toure has put the events of his dire summer behind him as he eyes more glory with his club Manchester City in the new season.
The summer started with the reigning African player of the year accusing City of disrespecting him on his birthday. He later slammed the club for allegedly denying him time to be with his sick brother Ibrahim who eventually died of cancer.
His agent Dimitry Seluk had threatened that the influential midfielder would leave the club after claiming the English champions treated him like ‘a nobody’ during his birthday at a title celebration attended by Arab owner Sheikh Mansour.
Things did not get any better for the 31-year-old at international level as the Elephants were knocked out in the group stage of the World Cup.
But speaking on the club’s pre-season tour of America, Toure said all that was now behind him and he wants to stay at City and aim for more glory in the new campaign.
“It was not a case of me wanting to leave the club. I stayed quiet and at the end of the day it’s my decision. I will stay at Manchester City for as long as possible,” Yaya said.
“The matter is closed now. The most important thing was to try to focus again. Now I’m very happy to join the team and the manager. Everyone is very positive.
Yaya and brother Kolo play through pain at the World Cup after the death of Ibrahim.
“This year is going to be fantastic. We’ve got some fantastic players coming in and important players are staying. If you want to be the best you need to win every trophy possible, and the Champions League is a target this year.”
He added: “We know we are the team to beat. This year will be amazing because I’m expecting something – I’m expecting trophies this year.”
Most difficult for Yaya has been the pain of losing a loved brother, but he insists he and his family must now try and move on.
“He has been sick for two years,” he said. “But he knew I loved football and he was telling me, ‘go to the World Cup and enjoy it. If you stay with me and don’t participate in the World Cup I would not be happy. I would love to see you doing your best and trying to help the country’.
“He loved football. When he was sick in Manchester he was watching every game I was playing in. After them I was coming to see him in hospital.
“With the loss of my brother it was quite hard. I’m a Muslim, I believe in God. Sometimes you can have everything, but this was a difficult situation.
“Unfortunately it was a difficult summer for my family. When you lose a brother it is always difficult and he was young too. We were very sad, all the family. We need to move on and pray for him.”