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26.06.2007 11:00

Strength, youth and quality

Sergi Nogueras

Gnégnéri Yaya Touré is the second new member of the Barça 2007-08 squad. The central midfielder from the Ivory Coast, signed from Monaco, will add strength to the FC Barcelona midfield.

The 24 year old is both strong and skilful. Touré usually slots in just in front of the back four, but he also extremely quick going forward, and is the perfect man for getting the ball circulating quickly.

Despite his bulk and height (he is 1.01 metres tall and weighs 90 kilos), Yaya Touré doesn’t only score goals with his head. Most of his 5 goals scored last season in the French League involved him coming in from behind the defence or shooting from long range.

International experience

Yaya Touré may have been born as recently as May 13, 1983, but he already has plenty of experience of football around the world. Aged 18 he made his move to the Belgian League and Beveren (2001/02 to 2003/04). He then went on to Metalursk Donetsk in the Ukraine (2003/04 and 2004/05) and Olympiakos in Greece (2005/06), where he teamed up with former Barça men Rivaldo, Haruna Babangida and Dani Garcia Lara to help the team to some quality performances in the Champions League.

Touré regularly appears for the Ivory Coast, for whom he played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, his country’s first ever appearance in the finals, and also starred in the African Nations Cup the same year.

First Ivorian at Barça

Touré is the first player from his country to feature in an FC Barcelona squad, making the Ivory Coast the 36th different nationality to appear for Barça.
Strength, youth and quality
The Touré saga
Yaya Gnégnéri Touré is the younger brother of Kolo Touré, centre back and occasional captain of Arsenal. There is also a third brother in the clan, Ibrahim Touré, who is also a professional footballer with Nice in France. In other words, the new Barça midfielder is a member of one of the most active families in world football.

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