Yaya Toure: Football world celebrates four-time African Footballer of the Year at 37

Footballer stakeholders across the globe have saluted the former Ivory Coast international as he reaches a new age

Manchester City, Barcelona, the Confederation of African Football (Caf), Fifa, La Liga and football fans have celebrated with Yaya Toure on his birthday.

Congratulatory messages have poured in from the football community around the world for the former Ivory Coast international who celebrated his 37th birthday on Wednesday.

Premier League side the Citizens, where the midfielder spent eight years, led the salutation to the Ivorian on social media.

Toure had an illustrious playing career for club and country and his exploits saw him win the African Player of the Year four times, the highest along with Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o, clinching the award in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The midfielder featured in six African Cup of Nations, helping the Elephants finish as runners-up in the 2006 and 2012 editions before captaining the side to win their second continental title in 2015.

Toure made 101 appearances for Ivory Coast before his retirement from internal duty in September 2016 and played in three World Cup tournaments in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

The Bouake-born player enjoyed great success at club level, having started his career with ASEC Mimosas in his country in 1996.

He moved to Belgian club Beveren in 2001 and made 70 league appearances in only two years of his stay before leaving to join Metalurh Donetsk.

The midfielder then departed the Ukrainian side for Greece, teaming up with Olympiacos in 2005 and later to France to join Monaco.

Toure signed for  Spanish giants Barcelona in 2007 for a fee of £6.7 million and went on to spend three years with the side winning a number of laurels including the La Liga title, Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.

He moved to Manchester City in 2010 and continued his progress, helping the Citizens to win the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield before leaving the Etihad Stadium in 2018 to return to Olympiacos.

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Last year he teamed up with Qingdao Huanghai and won the Chinese League One title with the side.

Toure, who is currently without a club, has previously spoken of his desire to become a coach after his retirement from professional football.

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