Toure: We’re finally out of United’s shadow

Yaya Toure Vincent Kompany Manchester City

Yaya Toure has thanked Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak for helping the club emerge from Manchester United’s shadow.

Sheikh Mansour took over in 2008 and appointed Al Mubarak as the chairman of his board of directors. That year, the club broke the English transfer record to beat Chelsea to the signing of Robinho.

City have not looked back since, with their heavy investment inspiring their first league title in 44 years in 2012 — and then two more after that in 2014 and 2018.

Toure signed for City in 2010 and has since scored 62 league goals in 230 appearances. He recently announced that this season would be his last at the club.

Speaking at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday on his final outing there as a City player — a 3-1 win over Brighton — Toure said: “I want to thank Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak. Those guys have been magnificent for the fans. City have been so long in the shadow of (Manchester) United and I think those guys bring happiness and a smile to the fans.”

“I want to thank the fans as well. They have been so supportive and helpful.”

Toure was presented with a lifetime City season ticket as a reward for his service to the club.

Several of his teammates also took to social media to pay their respects to the outgoing midfielder: