Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester City legend Yaya Toure has revealed how he had to rely on his backside to improve his performance following his early struggles in the Premier League.
Toure joined City from Barcelona in 2010 and went on to win the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.
The 2015 AFCON however confessed he struggled in the early part of his Premier League career due to the intensity of the English topflight.
Following his struggles, Toure disclosed City’s physio then came up with the idea of him using his backside to wade off challenges in order to shield the ball which eventually turned out good.
“In those early games I had for City, I had a little bit of a problem – I would take the ball from the defender with my back to the centre circle, and then BAM! The opposition would come from behind and he would dispossess me,” he told The Athletic.
“This kept happening in those first games. I’m a big man but every game someone would try the same thing when I wasn’t looking and BAM!
“I remember thinking, ‘What do I do? It’s impossible to play here!”
“You’re already a big guy, but you need to do something to deal with the shock when people run at you while you control the ball.”
“We need to build your muscles to absorb it. We need to build the strength in your bum and hips.”
The 38-year-old then spoke of his belief that it is this exact trait that makes Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard so dangerous.
“It has almost become a joke how big his [Hazard’s] bum is, but it is very important to how he plays football,” Toure continued.
“When the ball arrives at Hazard, he can already sense the opponent coming towards him, so he waits until the last moment and uses his bum to block them.
“It pushes the opponent away – almost like a punch – and then, when he has opened up that space between him and the defender, he will power away and start the attack.”
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