Unhappy Manchester City star Yaya Toure lashes out at English media
Midfielder Yaya Toure wants greater recognition for his achievements after launching an impassioned defence of his record with Manchester City.
The 32-year-old Ivory Coast international joined City from Barcelona in July 2010 and has lifted two Premier League trophies, the FA Cup and the League Cup since his arrival, but has looked below his best this season despite their impressive start.
He lasted just 45 minutes of Saturday's 5-1 victory over Bournemouth before being substituted and has repeatedly been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium amid suggestions of unrest and disillusionment.
And although Toure admits he is unhappy with life in football, he claims it is because he has never been given the plaudits he feels he deserves, particularly from the English media.
"Everyone thinks I am happy: I have won titles, lots of money, but no, I am not happy," he said in a lengthy interview with French newspaper L'Equipe.
"When things are said positively, that interests me a lot. But here in England it is not the case. In these last weeks, the journalists have spoken about a new departure for me. But what new departure?
"I have just finished a season with City where we came second in the league. I scored 12 goals despite the fact I had to leave the club to join my national team, who were playing in the African Nations Cup. I was out for nearly two months and I am reproached for not scoring as many goals as last season.
"Last season I scored 26 goals, 20 in the Premier League, and nobody mentioned it.
"When I arrived at City, I heard a lot of people say here that I was going to kill football. A lot of people, idiots I have to say, mocked me. And d id you see what happened next? We won nearly everything. I did it, we did it, because I was not all alone of course, but nobody picked up on it again. In fact, it is recognition that I do not have that hurts me.
"When people attack you, you should not respond because, for the most part, they understand nothing. Thankfully, my record and my statistics speak for me."
Toure is equally unhappy with the reception he receives in the Ivory Coast, who were crowned African Nations Cup champions in February under his captaincy.
However, the midfielder insists he has no plans to quit international football in the near future despite the criticism.
He said: "I love my country. If that was not the case, if I was spiteful, I would have said 'I quit'.
"But it is my country and even if I am the player who is the most insulted in this country, even if I am everybody's laughing stock, I cannot abandon it."