Manchester City's Pep Guardiola claims midfielder Yaya Toure still has the desire to play football
Posted: 8 May 2018 Time: 20:30
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola claims he 'may have been wrong' about departing club legend Yaya Toure this season after he played a peripheral role in the Premier League triumph.
Toure, 33, will leave the Citizens at the end of the current season upon the expiry of his contract but leaves a mark as one of the club's most influential players over their 138-year history.
With three Premier League winners medals to his name, the Ivory Coast star leaves the Etihad with a subdued ending, due to manager Pep Guardiola fielding him for only 140 minutes of top-flight football.
But the former FC Barcelona head coach accepts he may have misjudged Toure's attitude, desire and current level of ability at his current age.
"I am not going to judge Yaya for what happened this season. Maybe I was wrong this season," Guardiola said, as quoted by ESPN FC. "We have to analyse a career, not just in Manchester, in Barcelona and Monaco.
"He is a player with a huge personality, he doesn't feel the pressure, it doesn't matter where he plays. He loves to play football. Every day in the training sessions I saw nothing changed my opinions.
"He was the only guy last season we extend the contract. His behaviour was good. Hopefully he can stay in football and come back maybe here.
"I am not the right guy to say to him what is the best. He will choose. I think he has still the desire to play. He loves to play football. He likes the game and he enjoys the training sessions, especially with the ball. My advice, if he still has desire to play, he has to continue. If you have doubt, you have to retire, it is over."