Yaya Toure has selected his ultimate XI, and it’s fair to say the former Manchester City midfielder has selected an attacking line-up.
The Ivorian was a special guest on Monday Night Football as he watched City close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to four points courtesy of a 3-0 win over Wolves at the Etihad.
Following the result, Toure was asked to name his ultimate XI, and he hopes to take his expansive approach into management in the future. Here’s how his team shapes up…
I think with his hands and his legs, he’s one of the best I’ve played with. Victor Valdes was good with his legs, but was average to be honest. He was not bad, but at Barcelona he didn’t have to do much.
Defence: Rafa Marquez, Vincent Kompany, Carles Puyol
Marquez was one of the toughest defenders. People don’t remember him because he didn’t play in England. But if you want to remember him you have to go to YouTube and check what he was like at Barcelona. What a defender. He was 10 times better than Gerard Pique.
He was similar, but Pique was taller. Believe me, he was 10 times better. He was so, so good. I’ve been in love with him.
Kompany is a safe house. You know you’re going to win with him. He’s a tractor and of course if I didn’t pick him he would smash me.
With Carles Puyol as well, those three players, to get the ball off them will be so difficult. You have to suffer to get the ball back.
Midfield: Andes Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, Thierry Henry
I’m going to go for Iniesta as my holding midfielder. Why? Because he’s the only midfielder that I would have there given the others.
I like a team that goes forward. Iniesta was the hardest player to get the ball off. Aguero can mix it up, he can spin, he can change it up, he can play midfield or as a forward.
When Henry was at Arsenal, I think he was one of the best strikers in the world. Barcelona, at that time it was Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho, Messi and Deco.
Sometimes you have to accept, when he came to Spain he was just normal because of those around him. The era I really enjoyed Thierry was in 2009 when we got to the Champions League final.
We won six trophies in the world. That’s when I think he was one of the best.
Attack: Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o
I’d go for these two because I played with Eto’o in Barcelona and what a striker he was. He was unbelievable and I also played with Drogba in the national team. As forwards, they are very difficult to mark.
Eto’o was clever, smooth with his movement and Drogba could handle any cross, with the boot or with his head he could score at any time. He was brilliant.
Toure on his management style
If I was a manager, I would 100 per cent go for that. For me, the most important thing is keeping my opponent as far from my goal as possible.
I would pick players who are focused on controlling the game. Sometimes when you watch games, you can see the gaps between lines.
I love to have clever players and they are the ones who inspire me. Football is about making the fans enjoy and by the end winning by four or five goals is what I like.