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Football | Africa

Yaya © Action Images

Drogba wanted me at Chelsea - Yaya

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure revealed on Monday that he would have become a Chelsea player if he had taken Didier Drogba’s advice back in 2005.

Both players were invited by state television RTI to clarify rumours about their lingering animosity which many in Ivory Coast feel is the cause of the national team’s lack of success in top competitions.

Toure, who was named African Footballer of the Year last December for the second time in a row, said he had no differences with the Elephants’ captain Drogba, who was sitting to his side during the interview.

And that during his trying days in Ukraine with Metalurh Donetsk, the former Chelsea star pressured him to join the London club, which would have worked out but ran into snags at the last minute.

“I have never had quarrels with Didier Drogba like people have been saying,” Toure said. “Didier has been my long-time friend. He did everything possible for me to join Chelsea back in 2005 and we have been close pals since then.

“Would your enemy ever want you to work with him in the same place? Didier is my friend, my brother, my adviser. We have never had a fight and we’ll never,” he said.

The Ivorian team’s 4-1 loss to Mexico last month in an international friendly brought back sad memories of their near-misses in the Africa Cup of Nations, with many supporters back home unwilling to attend the team’s upcoming match against Morocco in the 2014 World Cup qualifying.

However, Toure promised they would try to deliver to reconcile with fans and officials, even though nothing is at stake as the Elephants are already through to the knockout stage of the qualifying.


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