Yaya Toure latest: Agent Dmitri Seluk claims Toure would have won the top awards 'if he was white'
Manchester City striker and his agent have made a string of outbursts this summer that appear to be an attempt to force a move away form the club
The latest outburst in the saga that is Yaya Toure’s summer has seen his agent make the extraordinary claim that the midfielder has not won the sport’s top awards because he is black.
Dmitri Seluk’s name has risen to prominence this summer after the agent made the revelation in May that Toure was looking to leave Premier League champions Manchester City after they were accused of not recognising his birthday and giving him a cake to celebrate.
Toure was voted third in the PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, while he finished 12th in the Ballon d’Or, but Seluk has claimed he would have won them by now “if he was white”, and suggesting that Toure’s talent is undervalued in the Premier League.
Speaking to The Times, Seluk said: “If he was white, 100 percent he would have won one of those top awards.
“I don't want to talk too much about racism or the politics of football, but he does not get the praise he should get. Yaya has three times in a row won the African Player of the Year, but it is different with the other awards.
“I agree with Jose Mourinho when he said that the Player of the Year should come from the team that wins the title. I have very much respect for Suarez and Gerrard, but what Yaya did from midfield, not often a player can do this.
“Who was the best team this year? Manchester City? Who was their best player? Toure. Gerrard is really good but Liverpool finished second in the league and Yaya is third (in the FWA vote).”
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The Ballon d’Or voting saw Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo claim the trophy, beating Lionel Messi for the first time since 2008, with Franck Ribery coming in third.
Loking at their success last season, Ronaldo led the way with 51 goals for Real Madrid, 10 more than his arch-rival Lionel Messi was able to achieve. Toure followed with 24 goals in all competitions, which bettered Ribery’s tally by 11 goals, but in terms of influence it has to be questioned if Toure made as big an impact as the top three in the vote.
Toure was part of a disappointing World Cup campaign for the Ivory Coast that ended at the group stages Seluk went on to reveal that Toure had been upset by this, and called on Fifa to change something in order for African players to stand a better chance of winning the award.
“He is a bit upset about the situation,” added Seluk. “Messi is the top player in the history of football and I respect Ronaldo and Ribery a lot. Yaya respects all these players. But for an African in these awards it is hard. FIFA needs to change something.”
The string of outbursts regarding Toure’s happiness appears to be in an effort to force a move away from the Manchester club, with reports claiming Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid are interested in a move for the former Barcelona player.
Seluk refused to confirm that Toure wanted to either stay with the club or head for pastures new, but he did accept that the decision lay in the hands of Manchester City as to whether they accepted any offers they receive or not.
Seluk said: “If an important club like PSG (Paris St Germain) or Real Madrid made a big offer it would be for Manchester City to decide what happens.”
Toure himself admitted his frustration that no one cared the Ivory Coast had been the victim of "unfair" refereeing, and said it was because they were African that there wasn't a fuss being made over their exit.
"Of course, it does not upset anyone because it only concerns an African team," said Toure earlier this month.
"Who really cares about the injustices of an African team? This mistake deprives us of something huge. It is a scandal that unfortunately does not seem to bother many people."
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