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First Team News

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Looking back: Yaya's 2012 China diaries

In 2012, Yaya Toure wrote an exclusive diary for mcfc.co.uk.

Here we look back at Yaya’s thoughts of his trip to China in his three-part player diary…

Day 1

Wow! A twelve-hour flight to Beijing and a chat with the legendary Jackie Chan - it's been a busy first 24 hours in China.

But first things first. Austria was good and I enjoyed the training camp in Seefeld but it was good to get back to Manchester and see my family for a few days.

It was also great to see the lads who have only just returned to training again after the Euros and have everyone back together – well almost everyone, aside from David Silva and Mario who went all the way to the final and have a few more days’ rest. 

I think that’s very important that we are even more together now as a unit because I think this season will be more difficult than the last one, though I hope it can be just as amazing as last year.

I have personal goals this year and I think this is very important to set targets. I think it would be great to win two or three cups this year – and I don’t think I’m being greedy when I say that!

Of course, there wasn’t much respite after we returned because we were soon packed up again and flying off to China.

We are now in Beijing – my second visit to China having been here before with Barcelona. It was a long flight but I managed to get some sleep on the way over. I usually just put my iPod on when I get on board and either watch a film or listen to music.

I watched The Whole Nine Yards recently and I enjoy anything that makes me smile. We received a warm welcome on our arrival in China and it was nice to see a few City shirts mixed in with the people who gathered at the airport and the team hotel to welcome us.

The Chinese people are very respectful and it is a pleasure to be here.

We had a light, enjoyable training session in the evening before a few of us had the opportunity to meet Jackie Chan – a genuine Hollywood legend and a really nice guy, too.

Day 2:

Our second full day in Beijing was a busy one for me with a photo shoot with touring name partner Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

The pictures were taken with me on a bike – as you can see – to help promote tonight’s game against Arsenal.

The Bird’s Nest Arena was in the background and it was good to get back on the saddle again for a few moments – I miss my ride to training and back that I used to do in Seefeld and it’s too busy and too far to ride to training here in Beijing.

Along on the shoot was a nice guy from the Abu Dhabi sponsors called Saood Al Harethi – he knew his stuff and we discussed tactics ahead of the Arsenal game.

Later in the day we had an open training session at the Workers' Stadium in Beijing. There were a few thousand local fans that turned out to watch and they gave us great support, singing ‘Hey Jude’ at one point which may or may not have been for me!

It was unusual to hear a training goal with loud cheers but it was a nice change

We kicked a few balls into their stand as gifts at the end and a few of the local youngsters then came out onto the pitch for a quick kick-around which was enjoyable.

Hearing the screams whenever Sergio Aguero was on the ball has convinced me who is the most popular member of our squad out here in China – I’ve seen a lot of Argentina flags, too, so he should be feeling at home at the moment.

Well, we are due to have a walk around the streets close to our hotel soon and then it is rest and preparation for the match with Arsenal – I’m looking forward to the game and hear there will be about 52,000 fans

We’ll be doing our best to win and bring our time here in Beijing to a happy conclusion.

Day 3:

We ended our stay in China on a high with a 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing.

It was a great venue to play at but the humidity was incredible and it was something of a relief when the rain started to fall because it brought with it cooler air, though the thunder and lightning overhead is always a little unnerving when you are playing on a wet pitch!

I thought it was quite an open game and both teams had plenty of chances, but we defended well and deserved our victory.

It was nice to be involved in both goals and while my pass put in Pablo Zabaleta for the first goal, there was still plenty to do so he should rightly take full credit for that.

My goal came after Kun Aguero knocked the ball back across the six-yard box and I couldn’t really miss from close range. It means our pre-season continues to pick up pace and while Arsenal had a few top players missing, so did we so we have to be happy with the result.

After the game it was back to the hotel for a sleep and then time to pack and leave China behind. The Chinese City fans may have been outnumbered in Beijing, but they made plenty of noise and we know next time we visit, there will be a lot more City shirts in the crowd.

I enjoyed our stay in China and I’d like to thank the people who made our stay so enjoyable – I’m sure we’ll return again in the near future

 

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