Profile: Yaya Toure

By Ian HughesBBC Sport
Yaya Toure: 2014 BBC African Footballer of the Year nominee

At the fifth time of being nominated for the BBC African Footballer of the Year award, Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure won it for the first time last year.

It was a fitting prize for a player who is widely recognised as one of the finest of his generation.

At the time he told BBC Sport that "finally winning the award is amazing".

The 31-year-old is used to winning in his career - a fierce competitor who has once again shown his immeasurable worth to club and country over the past year.

An absolute powerhouse of a player, who can dominate opponents with his strength and determination, he also has the drive to get from box to box and boasts an impressive goalscoring record.

He did, however, hit the headlines for unsavoury reasons last season as a row over a birthday cake threatened to bring an end to his Manchester City career.

Surprisingly, the row came just days after Toure had played a pivotal role in helping the club win their second English Premier League title in three seasons.

In March, he had also got his hands on the Capital One Cup.

Those two trophies and a personal return of 20 league goals though the season proved that even in difficult times, Toure could still elevate himself beyond the ordinary.

Yaya Toure: 2014 BBC African Player of the Year nominee.

Along the way he added a repertoire of wicked free-kicks to his already incredibly versatile game and he remains one of City's most important players.

A disappointing 2014 World Cup for Ivory Coast was put into perspective by the death of his younger brother.

Toure's loss may have contributed to a lack of form at the start of this campaign and he has come under scrutiny for some below-par performances.

But he retains the backing of City - as he should, having been a superb servant for the club since joining in 2010. He remains one of the few players who change the course of a game on his own.

And he will be desperate to help Ivory Coast qualify for next year's Africa Cup of Nations finals.

It could be Toure's last chance to win some silverware for his country and deliver on the promise of the country's 'golden generation'.

That lack of success for Ivory Coast is one of the few things missing in a career that has seen Toure amass a fantastic collection of honours.

His set of medals includes two Spanish league titles, two Premier League crowns, a Champions League title, a Uefa Super Cup and a Fifa Club World Cup.

And for the sixth successive year he is the running for the BBC award as well as once again being the sole African on the 23-man shortlist for the Fifa World Player of the Year award.

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