Former Inter Milan and Manchester City head coach Roberto Mancini believes Yaya Toure is right up there with the best in the world.
According to the Italian, the Ivorian midfielder is as influential on the field of play as fellow play-makers Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 33-year-old was this past weekend excluded from Pep Guardiola’s Champions League squad, to the surprise of Mancini.
Mancini explained that Toure is capable of changing the outcome of an entire season by himself, with the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner a key figure to the club’s success since joining from Barcelona six years ago.
“Yaya was always one of my goals,” Mancini told Corriere dello Sport.
“We had almost sealed his purchase with [Inter Milan] President Erick Thohir a year ago, then he preferred not to betray Manchester City, where I took him.
“Toure, like Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of those players who can make the difference, who can change the outcome of a season by themselves like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.”