Yaya Toure is one of the most successful and therefore wealthiest African footballers of all time.
He wasn’t born rich, though. And before he was a multi-millionaire, Yaya was apparently willing to throw himself into the cold water of a public fountain to boost his worth by a mere one Euro.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Graham Stack told Jimmy Bullard and co on the Magic Sponge podcast that he and a group of fellow Gunners loanees used to get then-teammate Yaya wet for entertainment during their time at Belgian club Beveren.
Discussing Yaya, Stack, who spent the 2002-03 season on loan at Arsenal’s feeder club, said: “He is without doubt the best player, in terms of ability, I have ever seen.
“What he was doing at 16-17 was just frightening.”
On the subject of banter, he added: “All the Ivorians were staying together and we used to meet in town for a bit of food and stuff.
“And all of the English boys… We used to have a laugh. They (the Ivorian players) were younger than us and they probably looked up to us because we were at Arsenal.
“There used to be a big water fountain in Beveren town centre and I used to say ‘Watch this. We’ll get a few of the boys in the fountain here’.
“So we started throwing €1 coins in this water fountain and it’s freezing cold. I knew Yaya Toure would go in and get it. This is Yaya Toure who is on £250,000 a week now!
“I’ve got Yaya Toure jumping in a water fountain in the town centre for a Euro. Imagine that!
“I wish we could turn back time. I might go to Manchester now and see if he wants to throw a oner (£100) in a fountain up there for me!”
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Yaya was not the only superstar Stack played with as a youngster.
Stack made his Arsenal debut alongside Cesc Fabregas – in a League Cup tie against Rotherham United in October 2003.
When asked by Bullard if he’s still in contact with the Spaniard, Stack joked: “Yeah, I follow him on Twitter!”