Football

Yaya Toure drops hint over international retirement

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Manchester City star Yaya Toure has given the biggest hint yet that he may be about to call time on his international career.

Toure captained the Ivory Coast to African Cup of Nations glory earlier this year and has suggested he could go out on top, paving the way for a new generation of stars.

Decision time

While the 31-year-old has yet to make a formal decision, he told BBC Sport: "I think now my target is done. I want to wait a couple of days for what I will decide for my future."

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Experience

In an 11-year career, the City man has picked up 95 caps for his country, scoring 19 goals in the process and was handed the captain's armband upon Didier Drogba's international retirement last year.

As one of the stars of a golden generation for the White Elephants, Toure has represented his country at three World Cups and six African Cup of Nations; finishing as a runner up on two occasions in the latter, before finally tasting glory this year.

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Toure wouldn't be the first to call time on his Ivory Coast career since the African Cup of Nations victory. His brother Kolo has chosen to focus on club football after earning 118 caps, while veteran goalkeeper Boubacar Barry has hung up his gloves with 86 caps to his name.

Time for youth

Alongside the Toure brothers and Barry, Hervé Renard boasted a squad full of experience, with a number of players being Champions League regulars. The likes of Gervinho, Seydou Doumbia and Saloman Kalou have all played at the highest level, while Wilfried Bony completed a move to Manchester City during the tournament.

While that kind of experience no doubt played a helping hand in Ivory Coast's success, Toure has called on his older teammates to step aside and allow youth a chance to flourish.

"The time for the youngsters will come soon and we need to let them go on alone," he said.

City boosted

The news will come as a boost to  City fans after they saw their team suffer a terrible dip in form while Toure was away. In six league and cup games without the Ivorian, Manuel Pellegrini's side managed just one win and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Middlesbrough.

The nine points they dropped in the league without the midfielder has seen them fall adrift of leaders Chelsea, who sit six points clear with a game in hand. Had Toure been available, it's easy to believe the Premier League title race would have been a tighter affair.

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Topics:
Manchester City
Football
Premier League
Gnegneri Toure Yaya

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