Toure finally begins to find form for Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure (L) celebrates his goal with teammate Kouassi Gervais during their semi-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Democratic Republic of Congo in Bata, February 4, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
Reuters
Thursday 5 Feb 2015
472 Views
Yaya Toure remains much of an enigma at international level but glimpses of his club form at the African Nations Cup is a major boon for Ivory Coast as they prepare for Sunday's final.

"Yaya has never before got his level for the national team," said coach Herve Renard of his captain after their 3-1 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bata on Wednesday saw the Elephants to their third final in 10 years.

"But he has worked, he has scored and he has played with a lot of determination. To have players like him, Gervinho, Wilfried Bony in the team is to work with fantastic talent.

"The Ivorian side is one under reconstruction but these are the pillars," added Renard.

The 31-year-old Toure has played at every Nations Cup since 2006, making his appearance at the finals in Equatorial Guinea a sixth. On top of that he has also participated at three successive World Cup finals.

But Sunday's final against either Equatorial Guinea or Ghana presents his first chance at a winners medal with his national team, to add to Champions League success with Barcelona in 2009 -- when he was played at centre back -- and league winners medals in Greece, Spain and England.

He also scored the winner in the 2011 FA Cup final where Manchester City ended a 35-year wait for a trophy with a 1-0 win over Stoke City.

Toure's record-breaking four successive African Footballer of the Year awards have all come on the back of his performances at club level but Renard hopes Ivory Coast will now reap a winning contribution from him too.

The testy Frenchman is the first coach to openly challenge Toure and the other 'galacticos' in the side.

A touchline tirade from the coach, occasionally directed at Toure when Renard feels he is not contributing, is something new for a player who, with many others in past Ivorian sides, had an untouchable aura.

The coach has taken him off in several matches after taking over last August in another departure from the norm.

But being treated like all others seems to resonate with Toure, who could finally produce the kind of contribution his country have been craving.

 



Search Keywords:

 

Add Comment
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.