Yaya Toure has retired from football, aged 35.
The former Barcelona and Manchester Citymidfielder had an unsuccessful stint with Greek club Olympiakos earlier this season and had he contract terminated in December.
Toure bagged 79 goals in 316 City appearances from 2010-2018, winning three Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup.
His stint with Barcelona also earned him a Champions League winners medal, two La Liga titles, a Club World Cup and a Copa del Rey whilst he was named African Footballer of the Year four times.
Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, announced the news and revealed the reasoning behind his decision as he prepares to embark upon a coaching career.
Yaya has decided to end his career as a champion,” Seluk told Russian website Sport 24.
“The farewell match which Manchester City gave him was, in principle, the real end of his playing career, not only in that team, but in general
“Yaya is one of the best players in Africa and had one of the brightest careers in the history of African football, so should leave football at its peak. We talked for a long time on this topic.
“Of course every footballer wants to play as long as possible and in terms of his physical condition Yaya could do this at a sufficiently high level for another five years.
“But we came to the conclusion that he, the footballer who played for Barcelona and Manchester City, could not lower the bar.
“In football it is important to come and go with your head held high. We remembered how at the age of 18, when Yaya was unknown to anyone, he began his football destiny from scratch, arriving in Belgium, and then going to Ukraine.
“Likewise, he now starts his fate from scratch and tries to become a good coach.
“I am sure that he will succeed, because he played the position in which he organized the attacks of his team. Yaya went through such clubs as Olympiacos, Monaco, Barcelona and Manchester City, where he worked with good coaches, from whom he learned a lot.
“I’m sure that two years after Yaya gets the Pro coaching license, he will head one of the serious clubs and achieve great success in the coaching field. Now he has already begun to take steps in this direction.”