Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Agent: Toure deserves more praise

Yaya Toure scored 24 goals for Manchester City last season
Yaya Toure scored 24 goals for Manchester City last season

The agent of Yaya Toure has claimed the reason the Manchester City midfielder has failed to win any of football's top individual awards is because he is black.

Dimitri Seluk said the Ivory Coast international would have finished higher than third place in the PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, and higher than 12th in the Ballon d'Or voting, if he was white.

Toure was beaten to both English awards by Luis Suarez, while Eden Hazard and Steven Gerrard came second in the PFA and FWA voting respectively.

Seluk told The Times: "If he was white, 100 per cent 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)."

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery.

Seluk added: "He is a bit upset about the situation. 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."

Seluk also refused to guarantee his client would remain at City this summer, saying: "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."

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