Monday 22 January 2018

Toure insists City can be the biggest club in the world

Mark Ogden

Yaya Toure has claimed that Manchester City are capable of becoming "bigger than any club in the world" if they secure the club's first league title in 44 years on Sunday.

Backed by the immense wealth of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan and with a star-studded team just three points away from dethroning Manchester United as Premier League champions, City are expected to build on their success this summer by adding further high-profile names to Roberto Mancini's squad.

Lille winger Eden Hazard is a £35m target, while Napoli striker Edinson Cavani is also on Mancini's hit-list, although it is understood that no formal moves have yet been made for the Uruguayan forward.

But with City on the brink of joining the elite by landing the title, former Barcelona midfielder Toure admits that the challenge of helping the club become the biggest in the world remains his motivation at the Etihad Stadium.

"That's why I came here, to help the team, give my experience to the young guys and to help the club go forward and make it bigger than any club in the world," Toure said.

"But now, we are at a good step. To make history, we have to win something and follow the example of what we did last year.

"Then we have to perform, go again and be strong for the next couple of years, but I think that is coming. But this Sunday (against QPR), we have to deliver. The job is not done yet.

"We have to keep going because QPR need the points, but it would be amazing if we win. It is for occasions like this I came to City -- to make history -- and I hope I will make history at the weekend."

Toure's two goals at Newcastle last Sunday -- which secured the win which leaves City within touching distance of the title -- were the latest key goals he has scored for the club since arriving from Barcelona in the summer of 2010.

He hit the winner in last season's FA Cup semi-final win against United, before scoring in the victory against Stoke in the final, which saw City end their 35-year trophy drought.

And the Ivory Coast midfielder admits that the appeal of becoming a central figure at City prompted him to leave the Nou Camp.

"At Barcelona, I was a good player, but at City I am an important player for the team. That is my job here, to try to help the team," he said. "I said a long time ago that I want to come to a club and make history and that's why I came to City. As a footballer, you always want to go to a place where you feel like you are loved and one of the best players.

"But here, we have a strong team, an experienced team, and it is one of the best in the Premier League." Just over a month ago, City trailed United by eight points after losing 1-0 at Arsenal and the Premier League trophy appeared destined to remain at Old Trafford.

But the turnaround has been dramatic and Toure claims the credit is due to manager Mancini for insisting that the players continued to believe in their title chances.

"We have never given up." Toure said. "After the Arsenal game, Mancini said we have nothing to lose now and that we have to play for our chance and keep working hard. He said we must believe and keep winning because he was sure United would drop points and it is totally true what he said.

"We now have the advantage because we continued to fight. It is amazing. Not necessarily for the players, but for the fans and the football club.


"Everybody is enjoying this season, even more than last season. We have beaten United, our big rival, twice in one season and that is unbelievable.

"But we have to win on Sunday. We have to win our last game to take the trophy. That's very important." With QPR needing a point to be certain of avoiding relegation, there remains an outside chance of City slipping up and handing the title to United, who must better their rivals' result in their final league game at Sunderland this weekend.

City defender Joleon Lescott has insisted, however, that complacency will not creep in against Mark Hughes' team on Sunday.

"I've heard a few things have been said about how we will approach the game and that we think all we have to do is turn up, but that's complete nonsense," said Lescott. "Every team we play represents a different challenge and we will go out there with the right attitude and manner and try to get the job done." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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