Midfielder Yaya Toure accused Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola of having “problems with Africans” in an interview to be published on Tuesday by France Football magazine.
“He insists he has no problems with black players, because he is too intelligent to be caught out,” Toure said. “But when you realise that he has problems with Africans, wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.”
The 35-year-old Ivorian played just 17 matches this season for City, who romped to the Premier League title, and he confessed to wondering if his limited playing time “was not because of my colour.”
“I think I was dealing with someone who just wanted to take revenge on me, who was jealous of me, who took me for his rival. I felt humiliated,” said Toure, who is leaving City at the end of June.
Toure joined City after three seasons at Barcelona where he had fallen out of favour after Guardiola took over as manager.
“There had already been some tensions,” said Toure, who added that he was now taking responsibility for “being the one who smashed the myth of Guardiola.”
Toure played 319 matches over eight seasons with the Sky Blues and won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup once but, he complained, Guardiola had prevented him enjoying the sort of farewell fanfare that Andres Iniesta received this season at Barcelona and Gianluigi Buffon did at Juventus.
“He stole my farewells with City. I would have liked to leave this club with emotion, as Iniesta and Buffon were able to do. But Pep stopped me.”