Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure has announced his retirement from playing – and is planning a career in coaching.
The 35-year-old Manchester City great had his contract at Greek club Olympiacos terminated in December, after just two appearances, and last month said retirement was not on his mind, although he has been working as a TV pundit.
But his agent Dimitri Seluk has now announced that the former Barcelona midfielder has hung up his boots, and could begin a coaching career in Russia.
“ Yaya has decided to end his career as a champion,” Seluk told Russian website Sport 24 , referring to the fact that he left City as they won the Premier League title a year ago.
“The farewell match which Manchester City gave him was, in principle, the real end of his playing career, not only in that team, but in general.
“Yaya is one of the best players in Africa and had one of the brightest careers in the history of African football, so should leave football at its peak. We talked for a long time on this topic.
“Of course, every football player wants to play for as long as possible. In terms of his physical condition, Yaya could do this at a sufficiently high level for another five years.
But we came to the conclusion that he, the football player who played for Barcelona and Manchester City, could not lower the bar.
“We see many players who continue their careers at a mature age, and this is commendable. But Yaya and I chose a different path - to leave as a champion and start a new stage in life with a career as a coach.
“In this, I am sure, Yaya will reach even greater heights that those he achieved as a football player. There are no African coaches in the English Premier League.”