Reflecting on his Manchester City career, outgoing midfielder Yaya Toure, 34, said overhauling Manchester United tops the list.
Yaya Toure said putting Manchester United in Manchester City’s shadow is his greatest achievement as he prepares to farewell the Premier League champions.
Ivory Coast international midfielder Toure, 34, has two more matches before he calls time on his illustrious City career, having won three Premier League titles since arriving from Barcelona in 2010.
City have celebrated three Premier League championships after Toure swapped Barcelona for Manchester, while United have won two in that period – though the Red Devils have not tasted silverware since Alex Ferguson’s final campaign in 2012-13.
Asked if overhauling United was his biggest achievement as a City player, Toure – who wants to remain in England next season – replied: “To be honest, yes, that’s true.
“When I came to City for them to be a big club we had to put them [United] in their shadow… That was the purpose – to come to City, to put United in the shadow although that would be difficult.”
Toure pinpointed the 2011 FA Cup semi-final victory over United as a defining moment in City’s rise to the top.
The Ivorian was the hero that day at Wembley – his second-half goal sinking 10-man United as City went on to win the FA Cup against Stoke City.
“The FA Cup semi-final was a big part of it,” Toure said ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Brighton and Hove Albion.
“When I scored that goal it was a message – they knew City were coming. United were in our way and we had to remove them. They were such a force, they won the league that year. They had such confidence in that game and they thought they were going to beat us.
“I’ll never forget it, they missed big chances and at half-time we were nearly fighting in the dressing-room. We had a chat and you saw a different City in the second-half. It was brilliant.”