From begging to be signed in Arsenal with Wenger calling his performance “bang average” to being the most complete midfielder in the Premier League era.
Since starting his career in Belgium and Ukraine after the Gunners shot him down, Yaya has been called many names including The Colossus, Human Train, and Skillful Elephant, all trying to describe his elegance.
The Colossus conquered Greece at Olympiacos (no pun intended) and took a detour in the beautiful city of Monaco before landing in Barcelona where his versatility playing as a centre-back in the UCL final was a vital part of the historic 2009 Barcelona side that won 6 trophies in a calendar year.
It was Manchester City next; the Human Train crushed the Premier League. Pun Intended. Touré joined the Cityzens in the summer of 2010, he was an embodiment of everything you need from a player and more.
It feels like he’s got endless energy every time he plays, his stamina, strength, and resilience are unmatched. Yaya tackled effortlessly, stopped opposition play, and won duels like he was born for it.
When he surges forward with the ball, he was like a god, you wouldn’t know if he was a playmaker or a destroyer. The real definition of box to box.
Blessed with unbelievable calm, confidence, and precision, whenever Yaya stepped up for a penalty or set-piece, fans start celebrating. Cheat Code. Yaya was a sore sight to behold for goalkeepers, his FA Cup goals against rivals Manchester United, and Stoke City won Manchester City their first title in 35 years. His famous 20 goals in the 13/14 season were just a taste of what he could offer going forward.
With short passes as good as Silva and long balls as good as DeBruyne, Yaya was endowed with vision, trickery, and finesse, no wonder he made more passes than any other person in the 13-14 season and at 90.76% accuracy. Surreal. and this didn’t stop his 35 yards top-corner shots.
Yaya was a leader; ask the Ivorians about their AFCON triumph. he could head, tackle, intercept, dictate the game, pass, shoot, dribble, control, finesse, and make dazzling runs, and he was still incredibly strong almost like the incredible hulk. He was not Oliver Twist, he didn’t want it all, he could do it all.
No wonder he was a striker at the beginning of his career, no wonder Pep Guardiola played him as a Center Back and Pellegrini as a number 10, he was the total package.
The Premier League has had Viera, Keane, Lampard, Gerrard, Cesc, and KDB, but none embodied all the qualities of a complete player like Yaya Touré. Yaya left us in awe, Yaya made us dream, Yaya is the dream.