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Here's Why Yaya Touré Was Left Off Manchester City's Champions League Roster

Photo credit: Michael Steele/Getty

When last we heard talk of Yaya Touré, it involved Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola extolling the virtues of the star midfielder he nevertheless had repeatedly refused to include in City’s matchday squads. Guardiola remarked that the Ivorian was “training amazing,” but because the manager expected “a more intensive game,” he declined to use the midfielder who just a couple years ago was one of the world’s best at his position.


Today, City have announced the names of the players they’ve registered and made eligible to play in the team’s Champions League group stage matches. Unsurprisingly, Touré was not included. But hadn’t Touré been “training amazing”? Does Guardiola foresee a bunch of “intensive” games in that competition that wouldn’t be right for Touré’s demonstrable talents? What could that mean, anyway?

Thankfully, this short video depicting some of Touré’s performance in City’s final Champions League match last season, a 1-0 loss to Real Madrid in the semifinal, goes a long way toward answering those questions:

Probably the right call by Guardiola, then.

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