Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne defends Pep Guardiola from Yaya Toure and Dimitri Seluk criticism

Toure accused Guardiola of 'having a problem' with African players in a France Football interview published earlier this week

Mark Critchley
Wednesday 06 June 2018 11:15
Pep Guardiola on Yaya Toure's time at Manchester City

Kevin de Bruyne has backed Pep Guardiola after the Manchester City manager was accused of "having a problem" with African players by Yaya Touré.

Touré brought his eight-year stay at City to an end in May after losing his place in Guardiola's first-team plans and spending much of City's Premier League title-winning season sidelined.

In an interview with France Football magazine published earlier this week, the 35-year-old Ivorian claimed Guardiola has problems with players of African heritage "wherever he goes" and accused his former manager of having a domineering and manipulative personality.

Touré's comments were later supported by his agent, Dimitri Seluk, who claimed that Guardiola's treatment of African players would lead "shamans" to "curse" him and prevent him from winning the Champions League.

De Bruyne, City's outstanding player of the season, does not however believe Touré and Seluk's claims have any foundation and defended Guardiola's team selections over the past year.

“I never saw something. It would be weird if the trainer was racist – with all the black guys in our team,” he told BBC World Football. “So I don’t know what Yaya said or if it’s wrongly written or exaggerated. When you don’t play there’s always something you try to find.

“We had the best season ever, so in the end the coach took the right decision to play with the team who played a lot. This year the trainer probably thought he [Touré] wasn’t doing enough, wasn’t fit enough. I’ve never seen something racist at the club, ever.”

Guardiola himself was asked about Touré's comments on Tuesday but refused to comment. “I am not going to talk about the words of Yaya Touré,” he said.

Touré previously played under Guardiola at Barcelona between 2008 and 2010, before being allowed to join City for £24m.

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