Player Profile – Yaya Toure
Player Profile Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
Full name: Gnegneri Yaya Toure
Birthplace: Sokoura Bouake, Ivory Coast
Date of Birth: 13th May 1983
Previous Teams: Monaco, France; Olympiakos, Greece; Metalurg Donetsk, Ukraine; Beveren, Belgium.
National Squad/Number of Appearances: Ivory Coast/19
Despite his young age, Toure comes to Barcelona with a wealth of experience, having moved to Europe when he was just 18. Probably best known as a defensive midfielder, he combines the ability to shore up the back four with a keen eye for goal and moving the ball forward.
- Toure became the first player from the Ivory Coast to sign for Barcelona.
- The player was a member of the Ivory Coast squad that took part in their first even World Cup finals in 2006 and has also played for his national team in the African Nations.
- Toure comes from a footballing family. His older brother Kolo plays for Arsenal and his younger brother Ibrahim still plays for Metalurg Donetsk.
- His brother Kolo has nicknamed him the new Patrick Viera. His Ivory Coast team mate Didier Drogba feels the same way and tried unsuccessfully to persuade Jose Mourinho to sign the player for Chelsea rather than Barça in the summer.
- When signing for Barça Toure was initially given the number 17 shirt although he was then changed to the number 24 shirt as the number 17 was later given to Dos Santos.
- Despite his height Toure tends not to score headers.
- Toure originally wanted to join his brother at Arsenal in 2006 while at Olympiakos but the Greek side would not sell him at the time.
- Toure is contracted to Barcelona on a four-year deal.