- Yaya Touré says Pep Guardiola has “a problem with Africans.”
- The comments come from an explosive interview in France Football, just weeks after Yaya Touré played his last game for Manchester City, where Guardiola is manager.
- Touré claims Guardiola is “cruel,” vindictive, and was “jealous” of him.
- Guardiola “pretends not to” have a problem with black soccer players, according to Touré.
One of the best and most celebrated coaches in world soccer has been accused of being “cruel,” vindictive, and of having “a problem with Africans.”
It is a stark contrast to the praise Pep Guardiola is used to attracting.
The Manchester City manager has won league championships in Spain, Germany, and in England. He won the Champions League/European Cup as a player and as a manager, is famed for his utilisation of possession-based high-pressing tactics, and has an extraordinary 71.9% winning record as a coach.
However, according to former player Yaya Touré, Guardiola has a nasty streak.
Touré played for Guardiola at FC Barcelona and Manchester City and, in an interview in Tuesday’s edition of France Football, says he wants to be the one “who breaks the myth of Guardiola.”
Touré represented City for an eight-year stretch from 2010 to 2018 and won three Premier League titles, two League Cups, and one FA Cup.
The midfielder left the club at the end of the season but wanted a send-off similar to the one Gianluigi Buffon received at Juventus, and Andrés Iniesta at FC Barcelona. However, he implies this was denied by Guardiola.
“He stole my farewells with City, a club where the fans are magnificent. I would have liked to leave with emotion from this club [like] Iniesta or Buffon. But Pep prevented me.
“He was cruel to me,” Touré added. “Do you really think Barcelona could have done that with Iniesta?
“I came to wonder if it was not because of my colour. I am not the first to talk about these differences in treatment. In Barça, some have also asked the question. Maybe we Africans are not always treated by some in the same way as others. When we realise that he often has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.”
When asked if Guardiola had problems with black soccer players, he responded: “He pretends not to. Because he is too intelligent to be trapped… he will never admit it.”
Touré believes Guardiola is vindictive. He says the manager was “jealous” of him, took him “for a rival,” and, as such, was frozen out of the team and out of the club.
Business Insider has reached out to Manchester City for comment on Touré’s claims.