Yaya the midfield maestro
Yaya came to the world scene after signing for Barcelona. Before that he was a prospect. A talent coming from the ranks of Asec Mimosa. The well known football academy that has produced so many Ivorian legends. Yaya later moved into Europe like most Africans stars. Went to some familiar clubs like Olympiacos and Monaco. A player with physical ability and great talent. A player that can defend and also contribute to attack. Yaya is a rare big player. He can carry the ball better than any other big player. He later moved to Barca in 2007 to 2010
At Barca he lived up to expectations. He played many different rolls as defensive midfielder and defender. He played in a team that had so much attacking ability. A team that restricted him to defensive play for most part. Yaya scored 4 goals in his whole Barcelona career. Limited him to defending more and releasing ball quickly. He was surrounded with the great Xavi, Iniesta and Messi who needed the ball more. These players were the greatest ball handlers in the game
Yaya had to leave to get more money and play the type of football that will make him one of the greatest midfielders in the game. City came knocking. Big pay day for a player that was under paid in Barca. Great challenge in a team that wanted success in the EPL and Europe. Yaya for the first time was going to be the most valuable player in a big team.
Big money and big ambitions was what Yaya needed and he proved to be worth it. Yaya was the talk of the EPL and he dominated. City wanted to win and with Yaya they won. He scored important goals and dominated the midfield. He was more defensive in Mancini era but will switch during games into offensive. City conquered the EPL with his influence and that propelled him to bigger status. Status he would have never achieved as a Barcelona player even though he was part of the team that won in UCL in Rome. At Barca he lived in the shadow of others but in City he was one of the leaders.
Yaya’s second EPL tittle was under Pellegrini. Different flare of football than under Mancini. More offensive type of game with Yaya playing in an advanced position. The midfielder scored many goals as he helped City to their second EPL tittle. He again showed his great ball handling skills and excellent passing ability
Yaya like any other football has not eluded critics. City has failed to compete at a top level in Europe. Yaya’s performance in Europe has also dropped with City. At Barca he had great performances in Europe. We remember his performances when Barca won UCL. City has not provided same success and he has been largely criticized. Some are fair but many forget their elimination came from the hands of Barcelona. One of the best teams in the past decade. Back to back seasons, Barca has eliminated them in UCL. Nothing to be ashamed of. Their performances in group stages has been the big disappointment though. With good performances in group stage,they could have avoided Barcelona.
The 4 time African player of the year is in a decline. At 31, Yaya’s best days are behind. He won the AFCON this year with an average all around performance. Nevertheless he goes into CIV history as the man who led them as captain. He is the only player to match Eto’o record as 4 time winner of the best player award. Yaya will go down as one of the great midfielders ever played the game