Yaya Toure has asserted that his allegiance in Spain is still to Barcelona and that he would never consider a move to Real Madrid.
The Ivory Coast midfielder was linked with a possible move to Madrid this summer, before talks over a new deal at Manchester City were concluded.
However, returning to La Liga and to the other side of the Clasico divide never occurred to the former Barca man.
“I have never considered going to Madrid because I was a Barca fan for many years,” commented Toure on RAC 1 this week.
“Madrid are a great club, but it would be very hard to play against Barca.
“Barca have always been the most important team to me. They are an example for players of working and committed, like Xavi and Puyol, also for the fans. Barca are the best team in the world.”
The 29-year-old backed La Blaugrana in their upcoming Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich.
“The game against Bayern will be tough, but for me Barca are the favourites. Always in the Champions League there are difficulties, as it proved in the game against Milan, but I believe that the quality of Barcelona in this new arrangement and with Messi in particular can decide the game.”
Toure was reported to be unhappy at City this year, with former Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain’s arrival suggested as why. Begiristain was sporting director at Barca when Toure was sold.
“The arrival of [former Barcelona Vice-President Ferran] Soriano and Txiki has helped a lot.
“Txiki is a great professional and I am sure that the club will continue to grow with them. Hopefully one day they will reach the level of Barcelona.”