Yaya Toure says he wants to win the Uefa Champions League with Manchester City to return favour back to the fans who have always gotten behind him.
The Ivory Coast midfielder, 31, came under heavy criticism following his performance in the 1-0 defeat at Bayern Munich in their opening group game of the current European elite championship.
Toure, who joined the Premier League champions in 2010, a year after lifting the Champions League trophy with his previous club Barcelona, said his watchword is to impress the fans and not the pundits.
“I know the fans love me; they are always good to me,” Toure told the BBC. “My target now is the Champions League. I want to win it for them.”
Last year, Toure signed a four-year contract extension which ties him to the Etihad Stadium outfit until 2017.
The likes of Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri and David Silva have agreed new deals with the club, but Toure is yet to follow suit. That coupled with his performance in Wednesday’s loss to Bayern has fueled cynicism concerning his commitment to the club.
But City manager Manuel Pellegrini has backed Toure, particularly following the death of his 28-year-old brother Ibrahim from cancer in June.
“Maybe he had a lot of personal problems with his brother,” said the Chilean.
“There are a lot of human things and maybe that is why he is not in his best performance at the moment. As a team, as a coach, as a club we must support him because he is a very important player, he makes a difference and I’m sure he will return to his best. But he is always being criticised.”
In the last three seasons of the Champions League, City have twice been knocked out in the group stage and once in the last 16.