Gnégnéri Yaya Touré was born 13 May 1983. He is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City. He is the younger brother Kolo Touré, who was his teammate at Beveren, Manchester City and the Ivorian national team. Their younger brother Ibrahim Touré was also a footballer, who died on 19 June 2014 at the age of 28 after a short battle with cancer. Yaya also played for and captained the Ivory Coast national team. He aspired to be a striker during his youth and has played centre-back, including for Barcelona in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final. However, he has spent the majority of his career as a box-to-box midfielder for club and country, where he has been regarded as one of the world’s best players in his position. He was voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Yaya has played for several clubs among which are; Olympiacos, Monaco, Barcelona, Manchester City and many others.
Touré is a Muslim, once turning down the traditional Man of the Match champagne after a Premier League match against Newcastle United in keeping with his religious beliefs. After this, the Premier League introduced a rose water and pomegranate drink as an alternative prize for players. In October 2013, Yaya joined a campaign against elephant poaching, becoming a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. On 13 December 2016, he pleaded guilty to drunk driving. He was arrested by police on 28 November after being pulled over and found to be more than twice over the legal driving limit. Touré said he had not “intentionally consumed alcohol”, telling the court he had consumed diet cola from a jug at a party, not realizing there was brandy in it. He conceded that his drink tasted “odd” and that he felt tired after consuming it, but did not suspect he was drunk. Judge Gary Lucy said it was “inconceivable” that he was unaware that he was drinking alcohol. He was banned from driving for 18 months, and was fined £54,000 – the largest fine for drink driving in British legal history.
He has bagged several awards for himself among which are; his nomination in the Personality of the Year category at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards. In July 2014, he was nominated for Prize in Entertainment at the 2014 The Future Africa Awards. In December 2015, Touré won the BBC African Footballer of the Year on a public vote for the second time, after leading the Ivory Coast to victory in the 2015 African Cup of Nations.