Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure.
When Kolo Toure first broke onto the scene as a youngster at Arsenal, he spoke fondly of his younger brother Yaya, saying he was a far better player than him. No one had heard of the young Toure at the time, but ten years later it looks like Kolo was right.
The Manchester City star started his career in his native Ivory Coast with ASEC Mimosas, before joining Arsenal’s Belgian feeder club Beveren. It was during his time in Belgium that he had a failed trial with the Gunners, something Arsene Wenger would later live to regret.
Toure started to make a name for himself in Europe, firstly with Ukranian side Metalurh Donetsk, and then with one season each with Olympiacos and Monaco, before getting his first big move when he was signed by Spanish giants Barcelona in 2007.
It was at the Nou Camp that Toure really emerged as a world class player, though he was arguably not even used to the best of his ability, often played as the team’s most defensive-minded midfielder or even at centre-back, where he put in a good display to help the club beat Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final.
Still, he was not a regular in his final season with the club in 2009/10, and was promptly snapped up by big-spending Manchester City, who finally brought the Ivorian to play alongside his brother in the Premier League for £24million in the summer of 2010.
At City, Toure has developed into a more attack-minded player, reaching double figures from midfield in his first season with the club, which included crucial winning goals in the team’s FA Cup semi-final against rivals Manchester United, and then in the final against Stoke City.
A year later, Toure was a Premier League champion with City, enjoying another excellent season as a highly influential player, using his excellent combination of natural strength and skill to drive forward. He scored two excellent goals late on in an away game against Newcastle that kept City as favourites for the title going into the final day of the season, showing his ability to perform on the big occasion.
The 30-year-old also has 78 caps and 16 goals for the Ivory Coast national team, and was voted African Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Alongside Didier Drogba, he is certainly one of the finest African players to ever play in the Premier League and one of the best players in the world at this moment in time.