Manchester City’s Yaya Toure said on Friday he is undervalued because he is African, believing that he deserves more recognition.
Speaking with Football Focus on BBC World News, the Ivory Coast midfielder blamed media for what he deemed as their insufficient coverage of the exploits of some African players in European football.
"To be honest, proper recognition has only come from the fans," said the three-time African player of the year, who was included in the shortlist for the English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) player of the year award on Friday.
"I don't want to be hard and I don't want to be negative, but I want to be honest.
"If we play well and we don't have the recognition from the media, we are not going to be where we want to be."
Toure has produced a series of superb displays for City this season, helping them win the League Cup and mount a challenge for the English Premier League title.
He scored 22 goals in all competitions, with his dead-ball abilities earning him widespread praise.
The 30-year-old, who faces two weeks on the sidelines after picking up an injury, is unhappy he is not as highly regarded as Argentinean forward Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
"If you go to any part of Africa now, people will say, 'yes, we know him [Messi]', but when you come to Europe and say 'Yaya Toure' people will say, 'who is that?" he added.
"Some will say they know my name but not know my face. But they will know Messi's face."
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)