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15.05.2009 13:51

Touré: “This is Barça’s year”

Vanessa Forns

With the Cup already won, the League title in touching distance and the Champions League final yet to come, Touré Yaya is convinced that this is Barça’s year.

FC Barcelona’s Ivorian player was clearly delighted to have won the Copa del Rey in Mestalla and given the way the team is playing, is ambitious about their chances of completing a historic treble. “This is Barça’s year. Playing football the way we are, we should win all three titles, but it won’t be an easy job. I want all three, that would be fantastic, and so we have to draw on the last of our strength”.

A goal to remember

WEB_01.jpgOn Wednesday in Valencia, Touré Yaya scored the equaliser in the 38th minute, a goal that set Barça on course for a convincing 4-1 victory. “The goal against Bilbao was the most important one I have ever scored, because it was in a final and tied the match, and was encouragement for my team mates. That was a very important final for us and the fans. It was an amazing fiesta, with Barça far superior to the opposition.”

Centre back

Playing at centre back in such an important game was something he considered “difficult and strange … but the most important thing is to help the team, especially considering we had players out in that position.” Touré Yaya said that it had been particularly important for him to get support and encouragement from Puyol and Piqué.

A good rest

This weekend, Pep Guardiola’s side could get the point they need to make mathematically certain of the league title. In fact, if Madrid fail to win away to Villarreal, Barça would become champions before they have even played.

Touré said “for me it would be better to win the league on Saturday, before we have played Mallorca. That would be perfect, because then we could relax before the game with Manchester, which is a massive game and we have to get as much rest as we can before that.”

Rome, “the final everybody wanted”

15-05-09_WEB_TOURE_02.jpgHe went on to say a few words about that Champions league final on May 27, and especially his thoughts on Manchester United. “The whole team worries me, they are very competitive … The English have very strong teams, and Manchester know how to bring the ball forward from the back like we do. This is the final everybody wanted.”

So what would he make of it if Guardiola decided to play him at centre back again? “It would be an honour to play at centre back. It’s not easy to play for Barça, because all the players here are of such enormous quality. But only eleven can be on the pitch at one time, and just being one of them in the final would be very important for me.”
Touré: “This is Barça’s year”

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Apologies to Athletic supporters
Before he answered any questions at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper, Touré Yaya made a statement about his gesture after scoring at Mestalla: “Before I start, I want to say something. I want to say I’m sorry to the Athletic fans, because after the goal I made a movement. It was a bit because of the tension of the moment. I didn’t want to hurt the Athletic fans. It is important to respect them. It was a great game and that’s why I want to apologise to their fans, who I think were the best.”

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