Yaya Toure: Ivory Coast star not contemplating retirement yet




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Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure spent eight years at Manchester City before leaving in 2018

Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure has no immediate plans to retire from football and has not ruled out playing in the Middle East, United States or Asia.

The 35-year-old midfielder has been without a club since leaving Greek club Olympiakos by “mutual agreement” in December.

“No one can stop me from playing football, I just decided to take an important time off for myself and it is very important to carefully weigh the options,” Toure said.

“It’s not the end or retirement from the game because I believe I can still play on for another two or three years,” he added.

Toure enjoyed a great return to the Greek capital where he helped Olympiakos to a domestic double before leaving after one season to join Monaco in 2007, but it all ended after just two starts and two substitute appearances in three months.

He joined Barcelona in 2007 – winning all available competitive titles including the Champions League in 2009 – before moving to Manchester City in 2010, where he won the Premier League three times.

Asked where he would like to resume his playing career, Toure added: “Why not in the United States, or in the Gulf or in Asia? I will take the time to think and see what I decide next season.”

Toure has not played for Ivory Coast since leading his country to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations title despite reversing his decision to retire in 2018.

After making his international debut against Egypt in June 2004, Toure has gone on to win 100 caps for the Elephants – scoring 19 goals.

In 2014 he took over the captain’s armband following the retirement of star striker Didier Drogba.

He has played in six Nations Cup tournaments, suffering defeat in the final in 2006 and 2012, and appeared in three World Cups.

Toure captained his country to a first Africa Cup of Nations triumph since 1992 in Equatorial Guinea in February 2015.

However, in his absence Ivory Coast suffered an embarrassing group stage exit at the 2017 tournament and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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