Former Manchester City star Yaya Toure has revealed he wrote a letter of apology to try and end his long-running feud with Pep Guardiola over comments he made regarding the manager’s treatment of African stars.
Toure left the Etihad Stadium on poor terms after starring at City for eight seasons between 2010 and 2018.
His swashbuckling performances in midfield made the ex-Ivory Coast international an idol for supporters, and now he is trying to mend bridges with Guardiola and other City officials.
“That interview was my big, huge mistake,” Toure told the Daily Mail, in reference to his infamous chat with France Football.
“When you give your trust, your voice to someone, they can twist it.
“I was aware some staff were not happy. I emailed a letter to try to communicate with some important people there to apologise and say I’ve been indecent to the club but I haven’t had any feedback.
“I want peace. We don’t want this [acrimony] all the time. For the love of the fans, for the love of the club, sometimes things have to be settled the right way. I’ve been in touch with some people there.”
The interview in question, which was published after Toure’s exit from the club in 2018, accused Guardiola of struggling to work with players from Africa.
“He [Guardiola] insists he has no problems with black players, because he is too intelligent to be caught out,” Toure said. “But when you realise that he has problems with Africans, wherever he goes, I ask myself questions. He will never admit it.
“But the day he will line up a team in which we find five Africans, not naturalised, I promise I will send him a cake.”
While Toure achieved hero status at City, despite the later falling-out, he admits that things could have been very different for him had he accepted another offer from the Premier League.
“I was close to joining Chelsea,’ he added to the Mail. “Juventus and Inter as well. Chelsea would’ve been easy because they already had a story as a great club. Didier Drogba was there as well.
“City were more demanding, if you understand what I mean. They said they were going to change, they want to be a big club, better than their neighbour.
“Carlos Tevez was a huge figure in that moment but he was quite concerned, when you see players like (Emmanuel) Adebayor, Robinho… City was doing good business but then those players were able to leave. They weren’t adapting well with the club.
But I was thinking in my mind to get to a club where people can see me. At Barcelona I was surrounded by great players – Xavi, Iniesta, Messi – and that meant people thought it was easy for me to play with them. After I moved to City, people started to realise how capable I was.”