No.24: Gnegneri Yaya Touré

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Gnegneri Yaya Touré  is an Ivorian midfielder born on May 13,1983 in Bouake.

Touré started playing football at ASEC Mimosas youth academy in 1996,before joining KSK Beveren,Belgium (two-and-a-half years) and FC Metalurh Donetsk, Ukraine (one-and-a-half year).

In 2005,Touré moved to Olympiakos. Ahead of the 2005/2006 Premiership season he spent a period during pre-season on trial at Arsenal, but failed to seal a permanent move. He was also selected by Eurosport in 2005 as one of the most promising young players worldwide (Javier Mascherano and Sergio Agüero were included in the list as well). It has since emerged that Arsenal made a €7 million bid in January 2006 which was rejected as Olympiacos wanted to wait to the summer to consider selling.

Yaya Touré in Monaco

As a result of his refusal to return to Greece for the team’s pre-season training,Olympiakos decided to accept a mere €4.5 million from French Ligue 1 side A.S. Monaco. Touré accused Olympiacos of not paying his due salaries, while Olympiacos accused him of lying in order to get transferred.On August 15, 2006 Touré completed his move to Monaco,where he played in 27 of the team’s 34 league games,scoring 5 goals.

On June 26, 2007, Barcelona announced the signing of Touré for a reported fee of €10m. Touré made his debut for the club on August 26, 2007 during the league opener at Athletic Bilbao.

Touré is a regular in the Ivory Coast side with 21 caps and 3 goals.He represented his country in their first ever appearance in the World Cup Finals (2006 in Germany) and also in the African Cup of Nations.

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