If you’re as good at soccer as Yaya Toure, a year that is far from your best work still ends with you being named the best player on one continent and one of the best players on another.
Two seasons removed from an incredible campaign in which he scored 24 goals in 49 appearances for Manchester City of England’s Premier League — while playing the midfielder position that produces passers more than scorers — Toure has netted “only” 15 goals in the last season and a half since. Good numbers, just not as amazing given what he’s done in the recent past.
And yet Toure was still voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2015, and Sky Sports ranked him 78th on its list of this year’s top 100 players in Europe.
Toure, 32, is a practicing Muslim from Ivory Coast whose pro career has included stops in Belgium, Ukraine, Greece, France and Spain. He has flourished with Manchester City, however, the club he joined in 2010. Toure has helped Manchester City to two Premier League championships; he helped the Ivory Coast national team to an African Cup of Nations tournament title; he’s been named the Confederation of African Football’s player of the year four times and BBC’s African Footballer of the Year twice.
Here are some of Toure’s recent highlights on the pitch: