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Yaya not out to prove point

Manchester City star Yaya Toure says he has no personal point to prove to his former club Barcelona.

Last Updated: 18/02/14 at 09:23 Post Comment   

Yaya Toure: At Monday's press conference

Yaya Toure: At Monday's press conference

Toure believes City can prove their emergence as a European force by overcoming Barca in the Champions League last 16.

The first leg of the tie takes place at City's Etihad Stadium on Tuesday when the home side will make their first appearance in the competition's knockout phase.

Barca are desperate win back the trophy they won in 2009 and 2011, and make their seventh semi-final in a row.

Toure insists that playing teams of Barca's calibre will be vital if they are to progress as a team.

"Barcelona are at the top level in the world and if we want to move on and one day be one of the top clubs in the world, we have to play against those teams," said Toure.

The 30-year-old spent three years at Barca, winning seven trophies, before swapping Catalonia for Manchester in July 2010.

But having won the FA Cup and the Premier League with City since his move, he says he has no regrets about leaving the Spanish side.

"No, I don't have anything to prove to them," said Toure.

"I won a lot of trophies with them and from my point of view, it was the right time to move on. With the history Barcelona have, I could do nothing more.

"For me, coming to Man City was the right move. The history was not quite exceptional, but we are on the right way.

"We have a new manager (Manuel Pellegrini) with a fantastic idea of football and we're very excited about the future."

Toure could be paired with usual central midfield partner Fernandinho against Barcelona after the Brazilian missed three matches with a muscular problem.

In Fernandinho's absence, Toure was criticised for neglecting his defensive responsibilities in City's recent 1-0 loss to Chelsea and 0-0 draw at Norwich City - but he insists the criticism was unwarranted.

"Sometimes you guys (in the media) criticise, we understand that," said Toure.

"You have to understand that in football, (the media says that) when we win, we're better, when we lose, we're a bad team.

"We understand that is part of the game. But the most important thing is just to continue. At the end of the season, if we've won the trophies it's going to be fantastic for us."

City manager Pellegrini also defended Toure, who is a three-time African Footballer of the Year.

"Yaya is a very important player for us," Pellegrini said.

"I have listened to some questions about the way he plays and Yaya plays the way I want him to play. He scores a lot of goals and brings a lot of creativity to our team.

"Playing in there with Javi Garcia or Fernandinho is the way I want him to play, where he is free and can give us a lot of offensive moments. But he knows also he has to defend, and he can do it."

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