Top players to watch in 2015 AFCON: Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)

Yaya Toure
Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure (Photo: Reuters)
Ahram Online
Tuesday 13 Jan 2015
Yaya Toure remains one of Ivory Coast's deadliest weapons and his role could be more prominent at the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea following the international retirement of talisman Didier Drogba.

The 31-year-old's sixth Nations Cup appearance comes on the back of another individual glory for the towering central midfielder, who was named Africa's Player of the Year for a record fourth successive time.

He is as consistent as ever, with his stewardship a huge asset for a Manchester City side who are seeking to win a second straight Premier League title.

Toure played a pivotal role in helping them win the elite title last season, scoring 20 goals after displaying his uncanny set-pieces abilities and cannon-like shots, most from the edge of the area.

Man City will find it difficult to replace Toure, who has scored seven Premier League goals so far this term, in the crucial Nations Cup period, having failed to claim a single league win without the former Barcelona man since April last year.  

Toure is likely to be more concerned with making up for Ivory Coast's repeated failures in the biennial tournament.

The Elephants have won the Nations Cup only once in 1992, and Toure was part of the side that lost twice in the final: in 2006 against Egypt and 2012 against Zambia.

They were drawn in a tough group that also includes Cameroon, Guinea and Mali.

"This Afcon is going to be one of those competitions where all the teams go without any assurance of a win," Toure said.

"There is no small team in Africa anymore. As for us we have challenging teams in our group who are used to the competition.

"We are going to this Afcon with a group of young talented players who hopefully will learn to be winners better sooner than later."

Toure made his Ivory Coast debut in 2004 and went on to make 100 appearances, scoring 16 goals.

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