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Guardiola heaps praise on Yaya Toure's City career

KING YAYA: Pep heaped praise on Yaya Toure at his press conference ahead of the game with Brighton

KING YAYA: Pep heaped praise on Yaya Toure at his press conference ahead of the game with Brighton

Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to Yaya Toure ahead of the Ivorian’s final home game for City, hailing him as one of the Club’s greatest-ever players.

The 34-year-old will leave the Club at the end of the season, bringing an end to a wonderful eight-year spell at the Etihad that has seen him win three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup.

And ahead of Wednesday's game with Brighton, Guardiola says he has been a key factor in City becoming one of Europe’s top sides.

“Tomorrow is his last game at the Etihad stadium,” Guardiola said. “We will try and play for him and win for him.

“Yaya is part of the club, not just because of the trophies he has won but because he transmitted to everyone the club can be bigger and greater.

“He is beloved, he is calm, he loves football and I’m very pleased with the success he has had.

“The footballers made the club bigger and bigger and bigger. He is one of the most important players in the whole history.

“He helped this club step forward hopefully we can play a good game and dedicate it to him.”

WATCH: Yaya Toure's final CityTV interview 

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Toure has become something of a father figure to City’s younger players in recent seasons, earning him the nickname Uncle Yaya.

And on Sunday after City’s title celebrations, Kevin De Bruyne praised his dressing room impact this season, despite his limited game time.

Guardiola believes his influence will be sorely missed and says he is a player to whom pressure was never a problem. 

“Yaya is great in the locker room with the old guys and young guys,” he said.

“He deserves the respect from the other ones, no doubt.

“He came from the [Roberto] Mancini era, after Manuel [Pellegrini], and the things they won, he was so, so important.

“We will not judge Yaya on this season. Maybe I was wrong with my decisions.

THANK YOU YAYA: CityTV sit down with Toure one last time

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Yaya Toure: Final CityTV interview

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“He needs to be judged on his whole career. He is a player with a huge personality. He doesn’t feel the pressure, he loves to play football.

“I took the decision this season on what I saw every day in the training sessions.

“He is the only guy last season who finished his contract who we extended because I thought he could help us.

“I wish him well. I hope he stays in world football.”

You can watch Yaya’s final home game when City host Brighton on Wednesday. Kick-off is at 8pm and you can buy tickets via our website.

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