It’s an honour to play for Mandela – Yaya Toure

2013-07-13 16:34

Reigning CAF African player of the year Yaya Toure says it is an honour to play a game in honour of ailing former statesman Nelson Mandela.

The Ivory Coast star is part of the touring Manchester City team which will play in the Nelson Mandela Invitation.

The 2011/12 season English Premiership champions take on SuperSport United at Loftus tomorrow and then end their tour with a game against AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Thursday.

Speaking during a teleconference call from Durban, Toure, who scored two goals for the Elephants in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in January here in South Africa, said he was always happy to come these shores because of the supporters’ passion.

After missing out on the Premiership title and FA Cup last season, Toure said they wanted to wrestle the championship from their arch rivals Manchester United.

Toure was already impressed by City’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who started his reign this week.

“I was impressed with what I have seen so far. He is a good manager and I hope he will help us to win trophies,” said Toure.

He said he was going to miss his elder brother Kolo who has left City for Liverpool.

“He helped me to settle at City but I am my own man. I hope he does well at Liverpool because it is a big club and I wish him all the best.”

Toure, who has been used in different positions by different managers, said his preferred the attacking role.

At his former side, Barcelona, he was sometimes deployed as a centre back and other times as a defensive midfielder.

“I will always play where the manager wants me to play but my favourite position is when attacking. I like starting and finishing moves.”

Toure was adamant he would never cross the floor and join United.

“When I was in Barcelona I made it clear that I would never join Real Madrid because I respect the fans and the club. It is the same with United, I would never play for them as a matter of principle.”

Toure said he was looking forward to playing against United and was expecting a good game.

“I just hope the supporters will enjoy the two games.”

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