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20.07.2008 12:54

Touré Yaya, a complete turnaround

Berta Brau

Back from injury, Touré Yaya is starting a new phase with his team-mates. The Ivory Coast player, who has worked with Rijkaard and is now under Guardiola, reviews the changes he has found.

A solid, discreet and hard-working midfielder, Touré has become a key figure in the team with his aggression and commitment. A year after his arrival at the club, a new period is beginning. In a report on Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, Touré says he is “a lot better” although he admits that the start of preseason is not proving easy for him.

No pain

fcb-bilbao-tourx.jpg“The beginning is always tough, especially for me as I had a back injury for two months, so in effect I’ve had 10 weeks holiday and coming back after all that time is always hard,” he points out. “But now my back doesn’t hurt at all and the doctor’s had a look and says everything is okay.”

Changes in daily routine

And without that pain Touré’s daily routine has swung through 180 degrees. “Now the daily stuff is easier because I’m okay, though not yet 100%,” he says. “Maybe I’m at 50% because the first training session was tough and the second very tough, but as we get used to it things are getting better.”

New places

160708training_x16x.JPGBut it’s not only Touré’s physical condition that has changed. Details like a change in training ground are also important for players. La Masia has been the focal point in the daily routine of Barça players in recent seasons, but now they are doing most of their work in the Miniestadi.

For Touré, however, this change isn’t very significant. “I don’t think where we train is important, that it’s further away or whatever,” he argues. “The boss chooses it and all we have to do is focus on winning all the titles we can.”

Tough training

The sessions in the Miniestadi, with Guardiola as coach, are proving to be pretty tough. “We’re working at a high pace, with two sessions a day and it’s hard but we’re professionals and we have to work,” says Touré. “The sessions are tough, very physical, but we also work on tactics a lot, and we do a lot of ball work, and when everyone’s here I reckon we’ll train really, really well.”
Touré Yaya, a complete turnaround

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His view of the group
Touré Yaya thinks there is a good atmosphere between the Barça players. “We’re working well and working together. We’re all friends and the old timers like me help the new ones,” he says. “We’re all really united because we have a shared goal which at the moment is the qualifying matches in the Champions League.”
Touré is also very happy with the new manager, Josep Guardiola. “He helps the players a lot and works hard with the team,” he notes. “We talk with him a lot and he’s a really great guy. I reckon he’ll do a great job for the club. We’ve only had a week with him, but it’s important that he can give his all to the team because he’s very good and he’s from the club, so he knows how things are done around here. As far as I’m concerned he’s excellent.”

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