Yaya Toure has singled out Mario Balotelli as the team-mate he’d most like to be Ivorian. - Manchester City FC

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Season 2011/12

Yaya wants Mario to become an Elephant

  • 07 February 2012 11:47
  • Posted by David Clayton

Yaya Toure has singled out Mario Balotelli as the team-mate he’d most like to be Ivorian.

City’s powerful midfielder, along with brother Kolo, will line-up on Wednesday evening as Ivory Coast face Mali in the African Cup of Nations.

With The Elephants hot favourites to win the tournament, they could face Mohammed Abu’s Ghana in the final on Sunday if they progress as expected while Ghana face Zambia in the other semi-final.

Abu has only played two minutes in total so far, but will hope to see a few minutes’ more action at some point - perhaps against the Zambians.

Though Ivory Coast boast Didier Drogba as their star striker, Yaya reckons Balotelli would fit like a glove – or a chicken hat – into the Elephants’ squad.

“If I could choose one City player to play for the Ivory Coast it would be Mario,” smiled Yaya.

“Whatever you hear about him is just newspaper stuff and I wish I had been as committed as him when I was his age.

“He is such a powerful guy and his concentration levels are unbelievable. He is young, so sometimes one or two things he does are maybe misunderstood but for me it is all part of his charm.

You cannot take away his quality on the field and in the end that is what really matters

...Yaya Toure

The Toures will return to Manchester early next week and may be in line to face Porto in the Europa League if Roberto Mancini believes they have sufficiently rested.

We will have a full report of the semi-final shortly after its completion.

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