Toure ready to end City trophy drought
When Yaya Toure decided to swap Barcelona for Manchester City last summer, several of the Ivorian international's former teammates at the Nou Camp were baffled by his decision. But 10 months later and Toure stands 90 minutes away from having his decision handsomely rewarded, with City poised to end a 35-year trophy drought against Stoke City in Saturday's FA Cup final.
When Yaya Toure decided to swap Barcelona for Manchester City last summer, several of the Ivorian international's former teammates at the Nou Camp were baffled by his decision.
But 10 months later and Toure stands 90 minutes away from having his decision handsomely rewarded, with City poised to end a 35-year trophy drought against Stoke City in Saturday's FA Cup final.
Even the fact that Barcelona are closing in on another La Liga and Champions League double is unlikely to bother Toure, who insists he joined City for the challenge of reviving the club's fortunes.
"When you say: 'I want to leave Barcelona', people think you're a crazy person and that's how it was,' Toure said of his decision to quit the Nou Camp."
"Because they are a big team, a great team, and nobody wants to leave them because of that. So the reaction was that people couldn't really believe it."
"But for me, I won everything there and I needed another challenge. And for me, Manchester City is a very nice challenge."
Cynics no doubt will point to the fact that Toure is being handsomely remunerated for his involvement with the City "challenge."
With weekly wages estimated at an eye-watering £250,000, the 28-year-old is believed to be the highest-paid player in English football.
That sort of fabulous wealth is a far cry from his humble beginnings, where he grew up surviving on one meal a day as one of nine children, who include his brother and City teammate Kolo, currently serving a drug ban.
Although neither City nor the player has ever confirmed his wages, Toure is not over-burdened by the expectation which accompanies his monster pay packet.
"For me, it is not a worry," he has said. "Sometimes when people pay a lot of money, you want to prove to yourself you are worth it. But, for me, it is not about the money."
Indeed, Toure plans to use a chunk of his wealth to set up a charitable foundation in the Ivory Coast.
"When your life starts to change and you get some money, you want to help your family, which I do," he said.
"We are normal people, we have not come from a family with a lot of money. That's why I love my brother. He's a very good guy who's always wanting to help other people."
"I want to start up one big foundation with my brother to help young people because when African players do something for their own country or region, the people there love it."
"In Africa, when you come from a difficult life, when it's not so easy to eat, not so easy to survive, you respect money when you start to earn it and you respect people more."
For the time being however, Toure's focus is City, and Saturday's date with Stoke at Wembley.
"This year the club needs some history and we signed for City to make this real," Toure said. "We want to be part of history at this club."
Eventually though, Toure believes City will be capable of challenging the likes of his former club at the top table of European football.
"At the moment you cannot compare Barcelona with City because Barca are at the top and have top-quality players," he said. "Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, they are fantastic."
"But, who knows, in a couple of years we could maybe be better than Barcelona. That is where the history comes in. We know the final is only one game and anything can happen."
"But, if we play to 100% and then we have a bit of luck, we can win the game."