x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Brother is yet another motivation for City's Toure

If Manchester City beat Stoke City in the FA Cup final, Yaya will dedicate victory to his Kolo, his suspended brother.

MANCHESTER // Yaya Toure, the Manchester City midfielder, is planning to dedicate victory in tomorrow's FA Cup final to his suspended brother Kolo.

The midfielder scored City's semi-final winner against Manchester United at Wembley last month and Roberto Mancini's men return to England's national stadium to face the underdogs, Stoke City, in tomorrow's showpiece occasion.

However, they will again be without Kolo Toure, who has not featured in the 10 weeks since it was revealed he failed a drugs test after taking a slimming pill belonging to his wife.

It means the Ivory Coast internationals are unable to fulfil their dream of capturing trophies together, but Yaya, two years his brother's junior, hopes Kolo can share in his success.

The 28-year-old said: "Before I signed for City, I told my brother I wanted to come to England to play with him, and to win something together. That won't happen tomorrow, and that means it will be a hard moment for him, and for me as well.

"My brother is very important to me. We talk a lot together, and our family is very proud of both of us. We have talked about the best way to win this cup, and he is supporting me and the team to win it.

"He said if we win the cup we will be winning it for him as well."

Toure said his brother, a regular in the centre of City's defence for the first six months of the season, is frustrated by his enforced absence.

"He is a typical sportsman and wants to be on the field with his teammates, but life is like that; we can all make mistakes," Toure said. "He is a very strong guy and can recover from this."

Toure joined City from Barcelona last summer and, while both his current and his former employers have Wembley Stadium dates this month, with the Primera Liga winners meeting Manchester United in the Champions League final, he believes he has been vindicated in his decision to trade the Camp Nou for Eastlands.

Tuesday's 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur ensured the top-four position that will enable City to play Champions League football next season.

"When I was thinking of signing I spoke with my agent and my family; it was a big decision," Toure said.

"But coming to City was exciting. When I came here it was a dream to get to the Champions League and win a trophy, but that dream is coming."

City are already guaranteed their highest league finish for 33 years. Should they defeat Stoke, they will have secured a first major piece of silverware since 1976 and the historic nature of the challenge was part of the allure for Toure.

"If I had helped Arsenal or Chelsea or Manchester United to get to the Champions League, it would just be normal for them," he said.

"But for City this is the first time and to do it after making a lot of signings who played their first year, it is not easy."

One of the newcomers, Toure cemented his popularity with the City supporters by scoring the only goal in the first Manchester derby played at Wembley.

"It was fantastic, amazing because it is like you score a very important goal and beat your big rivals," he said.

The reaction of the City followers took him aback.

"It was amazing, the fans were fantastic in the semi-final," the former Barcelona, Monaco and Olympiakos player said.

"I have played in different countries, like Spain and France, and I have never seen fans like that, so excited and so happy."

While City hope victory would bring the first of many trophies to Eastlands, Toure believes it can also help Mancini attract more top talent.

"We know the club is doing well and wants to sign big players," he said. "It would be fantastic to see more big players coming to help us."

Whatever the outcome, Toure is happy to pledge his future to City. Having played in five other European leagues - he also played in Belgium and Ukraine - he has found his spiritual home.

"It is the kind of championship I like and I hope I will finish my career in England," he said. "It is the best championship in the world."

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