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Manchester City's Yaya Toure: Maybe I will be respected when I retire

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has said that maybe he will be given the respect he deserves when he has retired.


Toure, who turns 35 next week, will play his 316th and final game at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night against Brighton after eight hugely successful years at the club and 79 goals.
In the 2014 title-winning campaign, he became only the second midfielder -- after Chelsea's Frank Lampard -- in Premier League history to score 20 goals in a season, but, the four-time African Player of the Year never won the Premier League Player of the Year despite his outstanding performances.
"I think maybe when I am retired from football I will have more respect," he said. "What I have achieved and what I have done, I don't think [I was given respect].
"That is why I am a little bit sad because people put a lot of pressure on Paul Pogba because they want to compare him to me. We are different. I put the game so far away that people think it is easy.
"When you see the type of run, how many times you can do it, box-to-box, and be able to start the ball from defence and be able to finish as well, and how many games in the Premier League. People don't know how dedicated I was."
Toure believes that helping City to overtake bitter rivals United was his greatest achievement as he prepares to say his farewell to the fans.
He joined City in a £28 million move from Barcelona and in his first season scored winning goals at Wembley in the FA Cup semifinal victory over United and final against Stoke City to end a 35-year wait for silverware.
The Ivory Coast midfielder has gone onto win three Premier League titles and two League Cups but says that win over United was the start of City becoming the top club in Manchester.
"When I came to City, for them to be a big club, we had to put [United] in our shadow," he said. "We cannot compare -- they have so many trophies, so many Champions League finals, but that was the purpose -- to come to City, to put United in the shadow although it would be difficult.
"But the semifinal was a big part of it. Definitely, United was in our way. We had to remove them, they were such a force, they won the league that year. To come to the game, they had such confidence, they thought they were going to beat us.
"I'll never forget it, they missed big chances. At half-time, we were nearly fighting in the dressing room. [We wanted to] go out and play like men -- or we go home again and say to [chairman] Khaldoon [al-Mubarak]: 'Thank you, we've eaten the money but we move on because this club will never achieve.'"


Toure was out of contract at the end of last season but after an impressive run of form convinced manager Pep Guardiola to give him another 12-month deal.
However, he hasn't started a game in the Premier League this season although he insists he can still perform in the Premier League.
"I would never celebrate a goal against [City]. I don't want to face them but if I want to stay in the Premier League I will have to," he added.
"I am very sad about [not playing]. I wanted to be more part of it on the field, not out of the field. But look in our dressing room and they are all competitors now, with the will to win and to achieve. It's a great ability, and I love it.
"But you can only have 11 players to play, and those who are not playing are not happy. How can you make them happy?
"As one of the older guys at this club, you have to help things carry on going. I remember when Kun [Aguero] was in great form and Gabriel Jesus was not playing and not happy as he was not being picked, I took him to one side and gave him a pat on the back. The manager doesn't know I'm doing that.
"That's why you see the guys sing my name and come to slap me. They don't mean it bad, or because they love the song, they just give me the respect I have given to them."
Toure is looking forward to having the opportunity to say his goodbye to the fans just as another City legend Pablo Zabaleta did 12 months ago.
"It's something very great. It's nice, something you can look at and maybe see how effective you have been for the club," he said.
"Seeing a football club do something like that for one player is very special, to keep you alive and to say thank you. I have been at this club in a crucial moment, to move them ahead from a different situation.
"I am lucky enough to have this, but when you look at the past and players like Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, all these players who have been here a long time, I am privileged to have this.
"It's going to be good and it's going to be sad. It's going to be sad, but I'll be more happy for the fans. I'll be sad because I'm going to miss them a lot, I'm going to miss my teammates, I'm going to miss my little Sterling, my little Sane. They look like my babies. I think it's their fault, that's why I'm going out! It's their fault!
"They're going to have a bright future. Of course, I will continue to come in and this is going to be the difficult part -- playing against City."



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