Yaya Touré named in Ivory Coast squad to end three-year international retirement

Yaya Touré has been named in Ivory Coast squad to end his three-year international retirement. Yaya Touré bowed out of international football on a high in 2015 after a 12-year career in which he won 102 caps.

Toure, 33, was the captain of his national team and led the country to their second-ever African Nations Cup title in 2015.

It had been considered an underachieving generation of talent until the Ivory Coast won the tournament and for Touré it added an international honour to his successful career at club level.

Now 34, Touré has rarely featured in this season’s record-breaking Manchester City side, appearing for only 752 minutes in total this season and just 97 of them in the Premier League.

And with so little happening at club level, Yaya has decided to return to the international stage and is in the new Ivory Coast squad to take on Togo (24 March) and Moldova (27 March) during the upcoming international break. These will mark his first international appearances for over three years.

Yaya Toure made his debut for the Ivory Coast in 2004, and replaced Didier Drogba as captain when the striker retired following the 2014 World Cup.

He played in all three of Ivory Coast’s World Cup appearances, in 2006, 2010 and 2014, as well we appearing in six African Nations Cups — including when they were runners-up in 2006 and 2012, before being triumphant in 2015.

The former Barcelona player was named in the African Nations Cup team of the tournament in 2008, 2012 and 2015, and was African Footballer of the Year on four consecutive occasions from 2011.

Yaya Touré’s long stay at Manchester City will end in the summer with his contract set to expire, but he’ll take with him many memories and medals, with a third Premier League all but certain to be added to his tally – and, he will be hoping, a second Champions League triumph.

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