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Yaya Touré slams mentality of African players

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Photo: Getty

Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Touré has criticized the mentality of African footballers.

Touré, who has won the African Footballer of the Year award 4 times, is the only African player to be named on the 2015 Ballon D’Or shortlist consisting of 23 names.

The Ivorian is also one of the frontrunners to pick up the CAF award this year despite a drop in form last season and has criticized the current generation of Africans for struggling to push themselves to new levels to reach the top level in football.

“Africans have a tendency to slack off,” he said. “They are living in a world of their own. They believe they made it, they are the greatest, the strongest. But they don’t understand that there are many more hills to climb to reach the top.

“Unfortunately, many only see the bright side of this job: the easy money, the girls, the parties, the big cars and the beautiful clothes. And they give up too quickly on the idea of matching the best players.”

“Many are content with little. They send money back home and are safe for the next few years. What is the point of suffering?

“I have the feeling they prohibit themselves from dreaming big with a kind of fatalistic resignation. They believe that the highest level is not for them.”

The Ivory Coast captain also admits that former African legends such as Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o have played their part as they set high standards.

“For some time now, I have also seen that Africans are struggling to impose themselves or to exist in larger teams,” he said.

“But all this is just the fault of Didier, Eto’o, [Michael] Essien or [Jay Jay] Okocha. And perhaps, too, a little bit of my own, without wanting to look pretentious.

“These players then have set the bar so high that it is very hard to come back.”

Michael Saad is an Egyptian-Canadian living in Toronto. A lifelong supporter of Zamalek through family inheritance, he covers the White Knights on KingFut and monitors the progression of the Egyptian national team carefully. Outside of Egyptian football, he is a passionate Arsenal and Toronto FC fan.

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