• Football

Toure underrated because he is African, says Nasri

ESPN staff
March 4, 2014
Samir Nasri © PA Photos

Samir Nasri believes Yaya Toure does not receive the acclaim he deserves as one of the world's top midfielders - because he is African.

Nasri and the Toure both scored spectacular goals as Manchester City beat Sunderland to win the League Cup on Sunday and Nasri argued the 30-year-old is underrated because of his nationality.

Toure has been named African Player of the Year three times in a row but Nasri feels he does not receive enough recognition elsewhere because is not Brazilian or Argentinian.

"If he wasn't African everyone will say he's the best midfielder in the world," Nasri said. "He can do everything, he can score goals, he can defend, he can attack. When he gets the ball he is so powerful.

"You should just admire the way he plays because he's a great player. I might be a little bit biased because he's my friend, but for me he's in the top three of the best midfielders in the world. Of course it counts against him being from Ivory Coast.

"If he was Argentinian or Brazilian everyone will talk about him, everyone. You have some Brazilians or Argentinians, I don't want to say anything wrong, but just because they are from this country you pay them £40m or £50m."

Toure's long-range equaliser at Wembley was the 17th goal of the most prolific season of his career.

It means he has now won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the League Cup in England to add to the six major honours he lifted during Barcelona's remarkable 2009.

"A guy like Yaya, he [has] won every trophy, he is always there," Nasri said. "Tell me one defensive midfielder who can go forward like him who can score 16 or 17 goals in a season. Tell me one and then we can talk."

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