Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Touré said on Tuesday he was ready to make his mark in European football after following Thierry Henry into the FC Barcelona spotlight.
Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Touré said on Tuesday he was ready to make his mark in European football after following Thierry Henry in signing for FC Barcelona.
A day after Henry's high-profile switch from Arsenal FC, the 24-year-old Touré was unveiled at Camp Nou after his move from AS Monaco FC. He spent just one season in Ligue 1, where he played 27 times and scored five goals, but it was enough to convince the Spanish giants of his ability. Barcelona have reportedly paid €9m for his services on a four-year contract. "You have to be well prepared to come to a club like Barcelona and I feel ready enough to face this challenge and become a key player," Touré said.
He has been likened in playing style to France midfielder Patrick Vieira but Touré said he was keen to make his own mark. "I have a great respect for Vieira, but I am also very talented and I want to prove what I'm capable of doing on the pitch," he said. "Since I was a kid I have always wanted to play at a club like this. This is a dream come true. I want to learn Catalan and I'll start classes straight away."
The younger brother of Henry's former Arsenal team-mate Kolo Touré, he has long been linked with a move to one of Europe's leading clubs. He first came to prominence as a teenager in Belgium at KSK Beveren before moving on to FC Metalurh Donetsk in Ukraine in 2004. He then switched to Greek side Olympiacos CFP for the 2005/06 season but lasted only a year before Monaco came calling.