By Michael Cantillon
Yaya Toure has claimed that he is regularly “unhappy” at Manchester City and pointed the finger at the British media for not appreciating his performances.
In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Toure also insisted he would not encourage his young children to become professional footballers.
Toure, who has expressed his dissatisfaction on a number of previous occasions during his five years in Manchester, said: “I often feel unhappy. When I came to City I heard people say here that I would kill football.
“The journalists spoke of my salary, that it was a disgrace, but I was just at this club to help it grow and win titles.
“Many people, beasts I must say, have laughed at me when I said that. They wondered what I, Yaya Toure, could do to change City. What happened next? We almost won everything.”
Since moving to Manchester from Barcelona in 2010, Toure has won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup, but many have still questioned whether he is deserving of his £220,000-a-week basic salary.
Toure admits the criticism has been painful to bear.
“I do not want them [his children] to have to go through everything that I have endured. It has hurt me,” the midfielder explained.
“You know, everyone thinks I am happy: I have won titles, lots of money but no I am not happy.”
Criticised for his lack of goals last year, Toure pointed to his participation in the African Cup of Nations as a mitigating factor.
“I missed almost two months and then I was criticised for not scoring as many goals as in the season before?
“Here, when it’s bad, they [the British Press] highlight the faults. When it’s good, they leave that in the dungeon. We Africans, when we do a good job, we like to be rewarded, recognised.”
Taken off at half-time during City’s 5-1 victory against Bournemouth at the weekend, Toure’s latest outburst comes during a vital week for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, who face Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday and then Manchester United in the derby on Sunday.
By Michael Cantillon