Yaya Toure has claimed the Premier League is stronger than Spain’s La Liga and that his big-money move to Manchester City from Barcelona is not a “step down”.
Toure, who joined his brother Kolo at Eastlands, following a £24 million move form Barcelona, insists that he has moved to the strongest league in the world.
“I don’t think this is a step down,” said Toure, who was speaking at the launch of City’s online coaching school.
“The Premier League is amazing. It is stronger than La Liga. And Manchester City are making great strides within it. In future they will be a big club. Every team in every country is starting to talk about the club. They know we are signing good, important players and I want to do my bit. I don’t feel pressure. I do have a lot of experience and I am determined to do my very best to make this club successful.”
Saturday’s clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane will represent the end of a decade-long odyssey for Toure. Just like Kolo, Arsene Wenger wanted Toure at Arsenal as a raw teenager only for work permit problems to scupper the potential move to north London.
Toure said it was the influence of City boss Roberto Mancini that persuaded him to move to England.
“When you sign for any team, the most important thing is the contact you have with the trainer,” he said. “When they do something and they put pressure on in some way to sign you it is very important. When you don’t talk with the trainer it is bad. That is why I came to Manchester City. We have a fantastic coach and we are signing good players. It will be great here this year.”
Toure is excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League, and he already has set his sights on the Manchester derby.
“I love the Premier League,” he said. “I have always wanted to play here. The biggest players play here. People like Steven Gerrard and my biggest friend Didier Drogba. Physically it is good. You have to be strong and I am thirsty to do well here. There are so many big teams – Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and the rest.
“But City are here now and maybe for United that is not so nice because we are making good progress. I really want to see how they do against us.”