Skip to main content

Manchester mission: Toure's title dream

By Gary Morley and Pedro Pinto, CNN
May 11, 2012 -- Updated 0941 GMT (1741 HKT)
Yaya Toure's two goals against Newcastle put Manchester City in pole position to clinch the English Premier League title. The club's last domestic championship came in 1968. Yaya Toure's two goals against Newcastle put Manchester City in pole position to clinch the English Premier League title. The club's last domestic championship came in 1968.
HIDE CAPTION
Toure's title mission
Long wait ends
Family affair
European champion
Cup king
International Ivorian
European experience
Humble beginnings
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester City seeking to win first English title in 44 years this weekend
  • Key player Yaya Toure tells CNN he wants to help make history at the club
  • He says the return of Carlos Tevez has helped City's bid to finish first
  • Toure wants to help City become one of Europe's biggest clubs

(CNN) -- Many said he only left Barcelona for the money. After all, he reportedly earns more than $300,000 a week in England. Why else would you leave the world's most successful club?

Yaya Toure, however, insists that he came to Manchester City in 2010 for one reason -- to make history.

He could be proved right on Sunday, when City's expensively-assembled squad have the chance to win a first English league title in 44 years.

Such a success is but a small part of the dream held by the Premier League club's Abu Dhabi owners, and Toure -- who last season ended City's 35-year wait for a trophy by scoring the only goal of the FA Cup final -- is a key figure in their master plan.

"When City wanted to sign me from Barcelona, they were thinking about bringing a good player to try to add to the club and make history in four years," the Ivory Coast international told CNN.

Yaya Toure aims to make history
Friedel on Tottenham's Euro hopes

"I think this is very interesting for me and for the club because I think they've made the right choice. We gained a couple of fantastic players, this year we're doing fantastically well. We have one more game, a very difficult game against QPR, although we hope we will win this game because it is very important."

"Important" perhaps does not do justice to Sunday's home match against a Queens Park Rangers team battling to avoid relegation.

City top the table from defending champions and fierce local rivals Manchester United by goal difference alone. If both teams have the same result this weekend then it will be the closest finish to an English season since Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the title in 1989 on number of goals scored.

But perhaps even more crucially, it will tip the balance of power away from United -- a club seeking a record-extending 20th league crown.

"If you want to make history you have to win," Toure said. "Last year we did it when we won the FA Cup, and this year with the signings we have I think we have to win something for this club.

"The fans were amazing this year, incredible, and they helped us a lot in difficult moments and good moments, so I think we've done everything for them. If we can win this title I think it will be for the fans and for the club."

Big test for new England coach
How Juventus won the Italian title

City thrashed United 6-1 at Old Trafford in October as Roberto Mancini's men led the table by five points, but Alex Ferguson's side bounced back to move eight points clear at the top with six games to go.

City struggled in the wake of Carlos Tevez's fallout with Mancini, a controversy that saw the club's former captain and top scorer go missing for three months. Just as crucially, Toure was away for six weeks at the African Nations Cup, depriving City's midfield of its driving force.

Add to that the on and off-field indiscretions of Mario Balotelli, and it appeared that City's stars were shooting themselves in the foot.

"Sometimes it's difficult because when you have an important, quality player like that and they make something wrong, sometimes it's difficult because football is a game for all the group," Toure said.

"It's 11 players, 45 players who live together, you see each other more than you see your family, and you have to be careful because when one of your teammates is wrong it can affect almost all the other players.

"But I think this year we dealt with everything. Carlos is a fantastic player who we always hoped would come back because he is a really important player for us. Yeah he made a mistake but he's apologized to everyone and he's showed to the fans he's there to fight for his friends for the title."

Chelsea's old guard of Didier Drogba (left), captain John Terry (center) and Frank Lampard celebrate Saturday's FA Cup win. Chelsea's old guard of Didier Drogba (left), captain John Terry (center) and Frank Lampard celebrate Saturday's FA Cup win.
Chelsea's core strength
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Chelsea\'s FA Cup final victory Chelsea's FA Cup final victory
Balotelli's first-team debut came in December 2007 as a subsitute with Internazionale. Three days later the 17-year-old scored two goals during Inter's 4-1 Coppa Italia win against Reggina. Balotelli's first-team debut came in December 2007 as a subsitute with Internazionale. Three days later the 17-year-old scored two goals during Inter's 4-1 Coppa Italia win against Reggina.
A promising start for Inter Milan
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
The highs and lows of Mario Balotelli The highs and lows of Mario Balotelli

Mancini has been criticized for his management methods since coming to England from Italian champions Inter Milan in mid-2009, but Toure credits him for inspiring belief that the title race was not over.

"When I was coming to City, it was Mancini taking me there. He believes in me ... when I was playing with Monaco he sent someone to look at me because last time he wanted to bring me to Inter because he was there," Toure said.

"I think the key was when Mancini started making a speech in the dressing room and said, 'Guys we don't have to give up because the Premier League is like that and maybe they can drop some points and we can come back. We have to believe to the end because we're in the most competitive competition in the world and most importantly we have to keep going, keep winning and maybe we'll be close to them.'

"I think Mancini was totally right because we never gave up and we continued to fight to the final, and now we have the same points, it's unbelievable."

Next season City will play in the Champions League for the second successive time. Their introduction this season will always be remembered for Tevez's clash with Mancini in Munich, which precipitated a group-stage exit from Europe's premier club tournament.

Toure has already held that trophy aloft, in 2009 when Barcelona completed a treble of trophies also including the Spanish league and cup crowns.

Barcelona's players are the best paid in the world according to a new report. The team kept its No. 1 place on the earnings table with each player taking home an average annual salary of $8.6 million (£5.2 million). That's a whopping $166,934 (£101,160) per week and a 10% rise on last year. Barcelona's players are the best paid in the world according to a new report. The team kept its No. 1 place on the earnings table with each player taking home an average annual salary of $8.6 million (£5.2 million). That's a whopping $166,934 (£101,160) per week and a 10% rise on last year.
1. Barcelona FC $8.6 million average
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
The world\'s 10 best-paid sports teams The world's 10 best-paid sports teams
Real Madrid players lift Jose Mourinho after winning the Spanish title for the 32nd time. The Portuguese coach has also won league titles in Portugal, England and Italy. Real Madrid players lift Jose Mourinho after winning the Spanish title for the 32nd time. The Portuguese coach has also won league titles in Portugal, England and Italy.
Mourinho's mission accomplished
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Real Madrid\'s La Liga triumph Real Madrid's La Liga triumph

"The Champions League is one of the biggest competitions in the world, it's very tough and all the best teams in the world play in this competition," Toure said.

"Yes I've already won it but I've said I came to City to make history and most importantly I have to keep working hard and make me believe I can be part of history at this amazing club.

"It's going to be tough but I think we're on a good way to being a big team."

Bayern Munich won City's group and went on to reach the May 19 final, which will be held at the German team's home stadium.

England will be represented by Chelsea, who overcame considerable odds to beat defending champions Barca in the semis.

"It's going to be tough because Bayern is a fantastic team. Two years ago they lost (the final) against Inter Milan, but I think Chelsea are doing extremely well, they are fighting together," Toure said.

"It's going to be tough for them because Bayern Munich have not stopped winning. But I hope an English team can win and the guys can say the Premier League is one of the toughest competitions in the world."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT