Toure says Guardiola ‘has problem with African players’

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"When the day comes that he picks a team featuring five Africans - and not naturalised Africans - I promise I will send him a cake!" Other Barca players asked the question too.

Touré had to wait until City's final home game of the season against Brighton for his first start and he said that he felt that his reduction in appearances last season stemmed from a revenge mission from Guardiola.

The Spaniard would cherish the challenge of coaching on the world stage, as he did when he played for La Roja. Maybe we Africans are not always treated by some in the same way as others.

Guardiola captained Spain when they won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992.

'I tried to understand it and I even asked the coaches for my stats, ' Toure told France Football.

'I don't know why but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival'.

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Toure, who joined City in 2010, was a key player for the club for a number of years but was reduced to a bit-part role following Guardiola's arrival at the Etihad in 2016. "As if I put him a little in the shade".

The 35-year-old Ivorian played just 17 matches this season for City, who romped to the Premier League title, and he confessed to wondering if his limited playing time "was not because of my colour". This is not possible with Pep, who is very rigid. "As if, also, he had understood that I knew him perfectly". Because he manipulates and plays a lot with your head. Do you really think he could've been like that with Andres Iniesta?

Guardiola's Barcelona team, which won three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues in four years, featured only a handful of players of African descent, and only three who represented African nations internationally - Toure, who is Ivorian, Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon and Mali global Seydou Keita.

"He stole my farewells with City, a club where the fans are magnificent", Toure added.

In honour of his stint at the club, the main training pitch was named after Toure but he stills feels like the manager ruined his farewell: "I would have liked to leave with emotion of this club as could [Andrés] Iniesta or [Gianluigi] Buffon. Their adventure is just starting and to be involved in that kind of process is everything that I want".

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