LB presents the Full Story of a football genius who is best known by the Nickname; ‘Firewall‘.
Our version of Yaya Toure’s Childhood Story, including his Biography Facts, brings to you a full account of notable events from his boyhood days, right until he became famous.
The analysis involves his life story before fame, family life and many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him. Let us begin;
Yaya Toure Childhood Story – Early Life:
Gnégnéri Yaya Touré on May 13, 1983, in Bouaké Côte d’Ivoire to father Mr. Mory Touré, a retired army officer and farmer and mother, (known as Mrs Toure), a farmer.
He spent most of his childhood in the city of Abidjan.
For Yaya, growing up as the second of nine children in Bouake, Ivory Coast’s wasn’t easy. Reports have indicated he lived with one meal per day for most of his childhood years.
Yaya Toure spent most of his childhood years as an apprentice to his elder brother Kolo who shined shoes for customers in a bid to supplement their father’s low income.
When the opportunity to play football first came calling, it was Kolo who left, leaving his younger brother Yaya behind.
Yaya kept shining shoes even after his brother decided to leave the job for amateur football.
After observing shoe shinning couldn’t lift him out of poverty, he decided to quit. At this point, he decided to join a local team.
Yaya was more optimistic at the very start. He saw football as something that could quickly lift him out of poverty.
Yaya Toure Biography – Starting Football as a Shoeless Boy:
When Yaya Toure joined his first football team, many called him ‘The tall introvert’. Asides from the fact that he came from a poor home, there was something extraordinary about him.
Yaya kept to himself at all times. He couldn’t wait to be giving football boots before playing the game. He told everyone he was okay playing with bare legs.
His first pair of football shoes finally came at the age of 10. While using bare legs, many spectators observed he had pure natural talent.
Back in the days, street football was on the rise in Ivory Coast. He played with friends and family in the streets of Abidjan.
His elder brother Kolo was already a key player of his town’s local youth team ASEC Mimosas.
Yaya Toure Biography – Working on His Skills:
Toure worked on his skills for three years before joining his Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas youth academy at the age of 13.
After spending 4 years at the team’s junior team, Yaya Toure made his senior debut at the age of 17.
At this stage, he was more determined to succeed. He believed his family poverty was man-made and can be removed by him and his brother.
He was fearless in the pursuit of what set his soul on fire. Good for him, his early determination paid off. In that same year, Yaya Toure led his club in winning the Cote D’Ivoire Premier Division.
The act of single-handedly leading his club to victory made his name popular among football scouts and on everyone’s lips in his country.
Yaya Toure, though very young at that time, was part of a popular Ivorian football movement to Europe in the year 2001.
To date, he owed special thanks to Jean-Marc Guillou (The white man above) who helped his country by initiating a massive movement of 14 best performing Ivorian footballers to a particular Belgian club, Beveren.
He was one of the footballers that arrived late in Europe among 13 of his other colleagues.
Upon his arrival, his Beveren teammates from Ivory Coast was quick to remember him as the popular wonderkid who once had no soccer shoes.
Yaya Toure Bio – Trial with Arsenal:
Two years after joining Belgian side Beveren, the 20-year-old Toure had a trial with Arsenal. Kolo was already there at that time.
Arsene Wenger decision to accept him relied on his performance on his first preseason game with his then-current club.
That time finally came. Yaya played in a pre-season friendly against Barnet and missed a good chance. Arsene Wenger described his performance as ‘completely average’.
However, Arsenal did try and sign him but was unable to get a work permit. Fueled with frustration, Toure then decided to join the Ukrainian club Metalurh Donetsk where he stayed for a year and a half before being watched by bigger clubs.
Yaya Toure Biography – The Football Journey:
In his time at the Belgian club, he played 70 times and scored three goals. As stated, he became unsettled after his dream move to Arsenal became a disappointment.
It didn’t take time before he made up his mind to join the Ukrainian club Metalurh Donetsk, where he joined his childhood friends who were footballers at the club.
For Yaya, joining Metalurh Donetsk was a perfect plan. His movement to the Ukrainian team was the beginning of what was termed, a great European football journey.
He stayed in Metalurh Donetsk for a year and a half before being watched by bigger clubs.
After a short spell in Ukraine, Greek side Olympiakos took a chance on him. Having kept a watchful eye over Yaya’s development since his arrival in Europe, then Olympiakos manager Trond Sollied was delighted to sign the 22-year-old who instantly became a fans’ favourite.
Positioned alongside Rivaldo in midfield, Yaya excelled as the team won the domestic double. A Champions League debut – earning an assist for a Rivaldo strike – followed by a maiden World Cup appearance in 2006.
In the 2006 world cup, Yaya played and did well in all three of Ivory Coast’s group stage games. This was when he became fully inclusive on the radar of some of Europe’s biggest teams.
Soon Olympiakos were struggling to hold on to their young star, especially after his 2006 world cup performance.
It was Monaco who approached and signed Yaya for a transfer fee of around £5m – already twice the sum that Olympiakos had paid for him just 12 months earlier.
It was not until new manager Laurent Banide came in that the fans got to see the best of Yaya Toure.
He was crucial in pulling the club away from the relegation zone.
His coach Banide said of him: “Yaya has got terrific technique and uses his body strength to effect. He can do just about anything.”
Once again he only stayed for a season and moved onto bigger things in Spain. This time to Spanish giants Barcelona for £6.7 million. He first played in the defensive midfield role for Barca.
At some point, his attacking runs became limited and after being forced out of the team by Sergio Busquets.
This led him to start playing as a centre back role as observed in the 2009 Champions League final.
He went to England after being tired of playing central back position. Thou he lasted for three seasons at FC Barcelona.
It cost Manchester City £24 million to sign him. Indeed, nobody can argue that he isn’t worth every penny.
In his first season, he had the best performances for the FA Cup. Yaya ran the midfield and scored the only goal of the game in the semi-final against Manchester United and then repeating it in the final against Stoke City.
He was responsible for securing the club’s first major trophy for 35 years.
Yaya Toure Biography Facts – Similarities with Patrick Viera:
Yaya Toure was dubbed ‘the new Patrick Vieira’ during his spell in Greece and France. Without a doubt, both parties share huge physical similarities.
First, their midfield marshalling prowess comes from their massive upper body frame. They love to make tireless runs and can cover every blade of grass in the field.
Finally, reports indicates that these big men have both had troubles in finding the right sized pair of shorts for their long lower limbs.
Separated by a generation, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure are two ideal examples of the modern-day midfielder.
Pace, power, bundles of creativity and an unrelenting eye for goal. Both are seen as the most complete midfielders to ever play in the EPL.
Many years ago, it was virtually impossible to imagine that a player could reach the same heights as Vieira, but then every once in a while comes along an extraordinary player who makes you stand up and take notice. Yaya Toure is that player.
Perhaps you didn’t know; The shirt number Toure had at Barcelona was in honour of boyhood hero ‘Patrick Vieira’.
He swapped the numbers round when he joined Man City because Vieira already had the number 24 shirt himself!
Gineba Yaya Toure Love Story:
Her name is Gineba and she is the love of Yaya Touré’s life. Toure is a married man and is currently married to her. They have two children at the time of writing.
Yaya Toure Biography Facts – Secret Love Affair:
Yaya Toure has once been stitched up by the Sun Newspaper, as the tabloid claims that married Ivory Coast midfielder has been cheating on his wife, Gineba Toure.
Yaya Toure’s apparent downfall was even Whatsapp, as the Sun publish a supposed chain of messages between the Man City star and a women in charge of an escort service in their tabloid.
Brilliantly, Yaya Toure’s name on WhatsApp as at then was apparently “Yaya42”.
The above Sandra Ntonya, is a Malawian prostitute who had claimed in 2015 that she had series of affair with Yaya Toure.
She revealed that she even slept with the midfielder’s brother Kolo at Liverpool. Later Yaya refuted the claim that his wife Gineba Toure is all he has and needs.
Yaya Toure Religion:
LifeBogger knows religion isn’t important in football or any other sport (it’s performance that matters), but it doesn’t hurt to know the fact that Yaya Toure is a core Muslim by faith.
Evidence of his true Islamic faith has been observed. For instance, Yaya turns down the English tradition of champagne after league games in accordance with his religious beliefs.
Yaya Toure Biography – Relationship with Ivory Coast President:
Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara has showed he is a big fan of Yaya Toure. As a football lover, he once invited Yaya to ride with him in his motorcade during their first African Nations Cup victory celebration.
The relationship they share does not only revolve around football but personal in many ways.
The feeling of over excitement of what his boy ‘Yaya Toure’ has done was priceless. This over-excitement made President Alassane Ouattara to declare that faithful Monday as a national holiday.
He also announced a fat holiday pay to workers on public radio and television stations. Public celebrations was later followed by an in-house party with the President.
Yaya Toure Biography Facts – Relationship with Brother ‘Kolo’:
Even thou he is bigger, richer and more popular, Yaya has always given his elder brother ‘Kolo’ his full respects. It is pertinent to note that Kolo once took care of his entire family when they were both very young and poor.
Right from the onset, Yaya Toure has dreamt of playing along side with his beloved elder brother.
Thou his dream to join Kolo at Arsenal ended in disappointment as revealed recently. Thou, Yaya still got another opportunity with Manchester City.
This came to pass after he turned down Manchester United and waited for the siren signal from Manchester City where his elder brother once played before joining Liverpool.
A Lover of Elephants:
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has been appointed a goodwill ambassador as he joins a UN campaign against poaching.
The Ivory Coast international has joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) campaign as he looks to stop the slaughter of elephants, saying that only 800 remain in his country.
Toure said at a press conference in Nairobi:
‘Poaching threatens the very existence of the African elephant and if we do not act now, we could be looking at a future in which this iconic species is wiped out.
‘Ivory Coast’s national team is named “The Elephants” after these magnificent creatures that are so full of power and grace, yet in my country alone there may be as few as 800 individuals left.’
Yaya Toure Biography Facts – Feud with Managers:
He clashed with AS Monaco manager, László Bölöni When Yaya moved to play for the French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in 2006.
This is what happened. Bölöni wouldn’t put Touré at the midfield position where he had played the majority of his career and proven himself.
According to Toure, “I asked him (Boloni) to play me in my position and that made him laugh! He even told other players I wasn’t part of his plans.”
Unfortunately, he was sacked in the middle of the season as Monaco was performing poorly.
Yaya Toure has revealed he is happy that Laszlo Boloni has been sacked by Monaco. The Ivory Coast international did not enjoy the most harmonious of relationships with Boloni.
He was thankful the Romanian tactician has left Stade Louis II and is hoping for an improvement under caretaker coach Laurent Banide. According to Yaya,
“A page has been turned, The coaching job is hard, but I had a bad relationship with Boloni.
ISSUE WITH GUARDIOLA
His issue with Pep Guardiola came when he was forced to play central back position. This was against his will.
ISSUE WITH PEP AT MANCHESTER CITY
His issue with Pep at Manchester City is summarized in the words of Yaya Toure below.
“But I’m not surprised. Pep doesn’t want players with personality. He only wants players who are scared of him and will do what he says. The first thing he did when he arrived at City was to pick a fight with me and Joe Hart.
”Pep didn’t like my opinion. I spoke out because I felt that Pep was being vindictive to me. Unfortunately for Pep, we live in a world where you have the right to free speech. Guardiola wins a few games and thinks he’s king. Pellegrini was a gentleman and far better”.
Yaya Toure Biography Facts – A Victim of Racism:
He has a history of being targeted by racist mobs. Yaya has commented several times on his love of playing football in England, where racist mobs targeting black players is a rare occurrence. The worst incidents occurred while he was playing in Portugal and Moscow.
Stays behind after training to improve ‘freekick’ skills:
Touré is known for staying behind after training each day. He is a strong believer of the words ‘practice makes perfect’. Yaya stays behind after practice in order to continue to improve his free-kick technique in particular.
Losing a younger brother to Cancer:
His younger brother by the name Ibrahim Obyala Tour died of Cancer in June 2014. He was a striker for Lebanon’s Al-Safa team. Yaya and his brother Kolo were given the tragic news after their Colombia-Ivory Coast match.
After mourning the death of his brother, Yaya Touré announced that he seeks out a long-term companionship with Manchester.
Despite alleged bickering with club officials, Yaya has said that his brother’s death has caused him to focus more on the prize.
“He was my brother, he loved football. When he was sick in Manchester he was watching every game I was playing in. After playing, I do come to see him in hospital.
Yaya Toure Biography – Twitter handle and Facebook Page dedicated to his facts:
It’s no surprise therefore that there is a whole Twitter account dedicated to Yaya Toure’s facts. Some true, most exaggerated and all very funny.
Here’s a selection of the best tweets.
- Yaya Toure can cut metal with his eyelashes. #ToureFacts
- The only time Yaya Toure was wrong was when he thought he had made a mistake. #ToureFacts
- Apple pays Yaya Toure 99 pence every time he listens to a song. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure can squeeze Apple juice out of an Apple iPhone. #ToureFacts
- The Bermuda Triangle used to be a square until Yaya Toure kicked off a corner. #ToureFacts
- When Yaya Toure looks in the mirror nothing appears. There can never be a second Yaya Toure. #ToureFacts
- At the age of 14, Yaya Toure broke both of his legs in a youth game. He jogged all the way home after. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure once plugged the USA into a USB. #ToureFacts
- When Yaya Toure punches you in a dream, you wake up with a bruise. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure does not leave tips. Waitresses pay Yaya for the privilege of serving him. #ToureFacts
- Before every match Yaya Toure is awarded the Man of the Match award. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure can bench press Romelu Lukaku and Didier Drogba with one arm. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure once killed a bird by throwing it off a cliff. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure is capable of headbutting himself…in the back of his head. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure once wrote a cheque, and the bank bounced. #ToureFacts
- Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give Yaya Toure a fish and he will stab you with it. #ToureFacts
- In the rain Yaya Toure does not need an umbrella. The raindrops avoid him. #ToureFacts
- The Roman Empire didn’t fall, Yaya Toure tripped it. #ToureFacts
- Jesus walked on water because he saw Yaya Toure coming. #ToureFacts
- Yaya Toure doesn’t play “hide-and-seek.” He plays “hide-and-pray-I-don’t-find-you.” #ToureFacts
- All Mortal Kombat fatalities are based off of Yaya Toure moves. #ToureFacts
The Ivory Coast international once caused a stir last after his agent said he felt “disrespected” by the club, who failed to acknowledge his birthday.
According to Yaya’s agent,
“The club’s owners ate a 100kg cake after winning the Premier League this season, but when they and the players were all together, none of them shook his hand on his birthday,” said Dmitry Seluk. “It shows they don’t care about him.”
The ‘Toure’ Chants by Fans:
For a number of times, the name ‘Toure Song’ has been sung as a chant by his fans. Watch Video Below.
The CAF Award Highs and Lows:
It has been Yaya Toure all the way. The Ivorian, Yaya Toure has been named Africa’s Best Footballer of the Year for four (4) consecutive times by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Unfortunately for Yaya Toure, the 5th award didn’t go his way. He has once reacted angrily to losing out on the CAF African Footballer of the Year award for 2016, saying the decision is “pathetic”, “indecent” and “brings shame to Africa”.
Toure hit out at his critics in a controversial interview in October, accusing detractors of “spreading bulls***”, and has had a number of run-ins with the press in the United Kingdom and his home continent.
The 32-year-old captained the Ivory Coast to their first Africa Cup of Nations triumph since 1992 at the start of last year and was named in the competition’s team of the tournament.
But he lost out to Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the individual stakes – voted for by coaches and technical directors – and has now hit out at the decision-makers, insisting “even Fifa” would not have reached such a conclusion.
“I’m very, very disappointed,” he told Afrique Foot.
Yaya Toure Biography Facts – LifeBogger Rankings: