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23.09.2007 14:16

Touré Yaya: “Messi is exceptional”

Sandra Sarmiento

Barca’s Ivory Coast midfielder Touré Yaya is as impressed as anybody by the performances of his brilliant young teammate Leo Messi and told reporters at the Nou Camp this morning: “he has to be a firm candidate for the FIFA player of the year.

It’s not just the Nou Camp fans who have been thrilled by Messi’s impressive start to the season, insisting: “he’s an exceptional player. He’s a wonderful player to play with and the best thing is that he’s really only just started to show us what he can do”.

Settling in

Touré himself is settling in well as the anchorman in midfield and in his four official games so far this season, his ball recovery and short passing have impressed: “I’ve found it easy to adapt to the group. It’s so full of top class players that it makes it very easy to slot into the system”.


Youré also had words of encouragement for Ronaldinho who turned up at the Nou Camp on Saturday night to support the team, despite missing the Seville game: “we saw him when the game was over. He had a little niggle in his calf, but I think he’ll be okay for our next game. I’ve been surprised by some of the comments made about him – he’s a great player and I think all of this will pass over soon”.

Room for improvement

The last couple of games have seen Barca overcome two tough opponents in Lyon and Seville, but Touré remains cautious about the future: “we put in a good game against Seville, who are close rivals for the title, but we still need to improve in putting away our chances. It’s still too early to draw many conclusions though, we’ll have to see at the end of the season if this team are at the level Barça teams have set over the last few seasons.
Touré Yaya: “Messi is exceptional”
Subbed twice
Touré Yaya has been a regular for Rijkaard so far this season, though his substitution against Seville in the 88th minute was the second this season after also being subbed in the Sardinero against Racing.

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