"I feel ready for this challenge"
Touré Yaya believes that he ready to face the challenge of playing for FC Barcelona and admitted that joining the Blaugrana from AS Monaco was the fulfilment of one of his dreams.
The Ivory Coast international was presented as a new player by Barça on Tuesday in the same
conference room that saw Thierry Henry introduced to the media 24 hours earlier. Yaya has been
brought in, according to technical secretary Txiki Begiristain, to "reinforce the defensive
midfield position, where a lack of balance between defence and attack was seen."
I want to live up to the expectation," Yaya explained. "I feel ready for
this challenge." Just like Henry, the 24-year-old was keen to move to FC Barcelona because of the
attractive football that team plays. "I really wanted to play for a club like this and I will give
everything that I have," he continued. After becoming the first player from the Ivory Coast to join
the Blaugrana, Yaya explained that his former team-mate at Monaco, Gerard López, had helped explain
about life at the club and in the city.
Club president, Joan Laporta, heaped praise on the new arrival as he
stated: "He is one of those players that it is essential to have. He has a great presence, is
physically strong and superb technically. He has everything required to become a key player for the
Similar to Vieira
Begiristain believes that Yaya is much more similar to Patrick Vieira than
he is to Julio Baptista, after the player was compared to both, although he said that the former
Metlaurg Donetsk star should be judgerd on his own merits. "He is strong, hard, difficult to beat
and has great distribution," said the technical secretary, who has been tracking Yaya since he
played for Olympiacos. Yaya will also not take up a non-EU place as he is set to gain dual
nationality in the next few weeks.