Q&A with Yaya Touré
What made you want to join MOTD Africa Top Ten?
I think it’s about celebrating African football and trying to give audiences of African football a better understanding and knowledge of some of the best players, tournaments, and moments in the game, as well as being entertaining to listen to – so I’m pleased to be a part of that.”
Tell us a bit about the podcast – what can listeners expect? Will you always be right?!
Haha no! The idea is to just try and understand sometimes people can have their personal opinion, their [viewpoint] on a situation but at the end of the day I think it’s all about fun, all about trying to interact with the fans, [and] to have fun with them.
How do you get on with your fellow hosts?
Well I think really good experienced African footballers like Gabriel and Efan, they’ve been in African football for quite a long time and they also have this story in their backgrounds of Africa. To join them and to be part of the team is brilliant.
You and Efan go back and forth between you these past 20 episodes, is there a bit of rivalry there?
Yes to be honest it’s been tough, because Efan is a top, top challenger and his opinion is backed up really, really well. Sometimes I feel that I get on the spot… when he comes back with his opinion and he’s clear… it’s quite difficult, to be honest!
What has been the highlight of your career?
In terms of personal achievement, in terms of the most emotional trophy I’ve got, I think it’s for AFCON 2015 with Ivory Coast because if you [look back], we’d been the top side in Africa for more than 10 years, with [Didier] Drogba, my brother [Kolo], all those players like that – Gervinho, Soloman Kalou – but we didn’t achieve it. And the last year, when I was thinking maybe it’s my time to step down [and] let the younger players come through, because with me close to them, it might be a bit difficult for them to express themselves… at the same time, I thought, ‘Why not?’. Because I think actually we had a top manager, Herve Renard, who gave me another energy, in terms of ‘do all you can’, and after that people were going to respect you because if you leave at that same time, it’s going to be a bit difficult’.
We’re probably going to hear it on the podcast, but who do you think is the greatest African footballer?
Wow, that’s a great question. I think we’ve been blessed to have a lot of good, good talent, you know what I mean – when you can name most of them. Because for me, my position is becoming difficult to judge or decide because… I really, really enjoy seeing them playing [and] have enjoyed playing with some of them. George Weah, I never played with him… a great, great player who’s the only African to win the Ballon d’Or, European… Didier Drogba, I played with him, Samuel Eto’o, I played with him.
There are so many great players. Okocha, Rigobert Song. But you could say it’s easy to say, because only one African won the Ballon d’Or in the world: George Weah. But in terms of achievement and collectively [Drogba and Samuel Eto’o], their names speak for themselves, they’ve been so good, they have been leaving a great legacy to those players like Salah and Sadio Mané, who carry on performing. But we can say, in my opinion, George Weah.
Thanks very much, Yaya.