Yaya Toure eyes Champions League final farewell with Manchester City: “To be happy, I need to win it again”

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Yaya Toure has set his sights on bringing down the curtain on his Manchester City career by winning the Champions League.

The Ivory Coast midfielder can lay claim to being the greatest player in City’s history after helping the Blues win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups.

But the 34-year-old has unfinished business in Europe.

And he now wants to take the Champions League back to the Etihad before his eight-year stint with the club comes to an end.

Toure, a European champions with Barcelona in 2009, said: “I want the Champions League again – so badly.

Yaya Toure holds up the Champions League trophy after Barcelona beat Manchester United
Toure has tasted Champions League success before

Together again

“I have won everything in England with City – and now I want something that is really special for the fans and the club. I have been lucky enough to win some important trophies for my clubs and also Ivory Coast.

“But the Champions League is special. To be happy, I really need to win it again.”

City reached the Champions League semi-finals two years ago before losing 1-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid. Last season, they crashed out in the last 16 on away goals despite beating Monaco 5-3 in the first leg.

Toure said: “I can see the progress the team has made.

“At the moment, we are doing very well against some good European teams. But the big tests are the big teams like Barca, Madrid, Juventus, Bayern and Paris.

“We are one of the top teams now – but we have to prove it. I am very excited because we want to play Madrid and Barca to show where we are.”

Toure is one of the more experienced heads in Guardiola’s squad

Another tough clash against Napoli awaits

City’s progress towards the knock-out stages has been serene so far this season, with victories over Feyenoord, Shakhtar Donetsk and Napoli. But they face a tough examination on Wednesday night when they travel to Naples to face the Serie A leaders.

Toure was in the City team that was beaten 2-1 in the volatile Stadio San Paulo when they were eliminated in the group stages in 2011.

And he admitted: “Playing in Napoli is horrible. It is so, so difficult for the opponent because the fans there are so good.

“The stadium is massive and the atmosphere is very intense. But I think we can play a good game like the one in Manchester.

“They came here and made it very difficult in the end, but I think we have a team that might be more dangerous away from home.

“When teams attack us we can make the most of the space they leave at the back. With players of the speed of Raheem, Sane and Aguero we can attack the space.”

Leroy Sane is flying so far this season

Toure has led City to silverware

Toure is regarded as the catalyst for the most glorious period in City’s history since arriving from the Nou Camp in a £24million deal.

He scored the FA Cup semi-final goal that defeated Manchester United in 2011 – as well as netting the strike that brought City their first trophy in 35 years when they beat Stoke in the final.

He scored crucial goals when City won the Premier League 12 months later.

The club’s title and League Cup double in 2014 saw him score 20 Premier league goals as well as an equaliser against Sunderland at Wembley. And when City beat Liverpool in the League Cup final the following season, he netted the winning penalty in the shoot-out.

Toure scores from the spot in midweek

He has spent most of the current season on the bench this season after being handed a 12-month contract extension.

But he believes his winning mentality will be crucial when it comes to the business end of the campaign.

Toure said: “To be honest, the Champions League is the most difficult competition in football.

“It is so hard to predict who will win it because all the teams have great quality.

“You have to be focused for every game because teams like Barcelona, Madrid and Juventus are excellent teams who are better than the teams we face in England.

“Experience is so important – and we have that now.”

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