Yaya Toure has accused Pep Guardiola of mistreating African players and claims the Manchester City manager ‘spoiled’ his final season at the Etihad Stadium.
The Ivorian has struggled for regular starts under Pep over the last two years – and has now been released by the club following their record-breaking campaign.
The 35-year-old is due to officially leave City at the end of June once his contract expires and made only 17 appearances in his final campaign under Guardiola.
Toure has claimed that his constant omission from the team was because of ‘jealousy’ from Guardiola and says he was cruelly treated by the City manager because the Catalan ‘hates’ his colour.
‘I tried to understand it and I even asked the coaches for my stats,’ Toure told France Football.
‘When I realised that they were as good or better, both in training and in matches, as those who played and were younger than me, I understood that it was not question of physicality.
I don’t know why but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival.
‘I have the impression that Pep, without acknowledgment or respect, did everything to spoil my last season.
‘He was cruel with me. Do you really think he could’ve been like that with Andres Iniesta?
‘It got to the point I asked myself if it was because of my colour.
‘I’m not the first, other Barca players asked the question too.
‘Maybe us Africans aren’t always treated the same by certain people.
‘When you see the problems [Guardiola] has often had with African players, everywhere he has been, I ask myself questions.
‘He’s too intelligent to be caught. He’ll never admit. But the day he picks a team with five Africans in it, I promise I will send him a cake!
‘Beyond that, Pep likes to dominate and wants to have obedient players who kiss his hands. I don’t like that kind of relationship. I respect my coach but I’m not his thing.
‘He stole my farewell with City, a club with beautiful fans.
‘I would have liked to leave with emotion of this club the way Iniesta [left Barcelona] or Gianluigi Buffon [left Juventus]. But Pep prevented me.’