Manchester City clinched its second Premier League championship in three years on Sunday, overcoming a late-season deficit in the standings by winning its last five matches to clear runner-up Liverpool by two points.
In an article run by AFP ranking the five most important players to Man City’s championship run, two Muslim players — midfielder Yaya Toure from the Ivory Coast and Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko — are featured.
YAYA TOURE: Possessing a languid style that can sometimes be mistaken for disinterest, Toure has lulled many rivals into a false sense of security before destroying them with his muscular frame and delicate touch. City never looked the same whenever he was sidelined and he can now claim to be the Premier League’s most influential player. Fortunately for manager Manuel Pellegrini, Toure, who scored 20 goals in 35 league appearances, returned from injury at the exact moment Liverpool began to splutter and his dynamic displays against Crystal Palace, Everton and Aston Villa helped them regain the title.
EDIN DZEKO: After growing tired of his bit-part role under Mancini, it appeared Dzeko’s time at Eastlands could be over, but Pellegrini is a big fan of the powerful targetman and made it a priority to convince him to stay. It proved a shrewd move for both player and manager as Dzeko has risen impressively to the challenge of deputizing for Aguero. He has scored 16 goals in 31 league appearances, and crucially nine of those strikes — including doubles against Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester United — have come when the pressure has been highest toward the end of the season.
Man City also advanced to the Round of 16 in this year’s UEFA Champions League, getting eliminated by Barcelona. Toure and Dzeko are each expected to play key roles for their respective national teams in this summer’s FIFA World Cup.