Toure left ‘damaged’ by Man City as Guardiola struggles with ‘curse’

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Pep Guardiola will be hoping that 2023 is the year that he can break the reported ‘curse’ placed on him by fans of Yaya Toure. The Spaniard has failed to win the Champions League whilst at Manchester City, though he can have no excuses this time around.

City are set to face RB Leipzig later this month in the second leg of their Round of 16 clash, having drawn the first leg 1-1. Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring in that match before sought-after star Josko Gvardiol equalised from a corner.

Leipzig put in a valiant display on the night, though City will certainly feel that they were unfortunate not to return to the Etihad Stadium on March 14 with the score still level given that they missed several key chances and had a clear penalty appeal waved away.

Despite domestic dominance, City are still yet to lift the Champions League, which may not come as a surprise to the agent of former midfielder Toure.

After his client had left the club, Dimitri Seluk insisted that African shamans will prevent Guardiola from winning the competition due to how he had treated Toure – saying: “He has set all of Africa against him, many African fans have turned away from Manchester City. And I am sure that many African shamans will not let Guardiola win the Champions League in future. It will be like an African curse on Guardiola. Time will tell if I am right or not.”

The riff began in 2014 after City failed to commemorate the Ivorian’s 31st birthday with a celebratory cake, prompting Seluk to publicly slam the club for undervaluing one of their most important stars. Toure initially attempted to defuse the situation by claiming that he did not agree with the comments before having a change of heart and tweeting that his agent does actually speak on his behalf.

The now-Tottenham coach spent a further four years at the club beyond the saga, though the story was not lost in time and continued to cause Toure issues. Speaking to The Times, he explained: “It’s crazy. The birthday cake damaged me a lot. When people see me in France or Africa, they say ‘You want cake?’ I was so p***ed [off]. I was telling him [Seluk], you should not do that, no need. I talked with Khaldoon [Al Mubarak, City’s chairman], and I was saying, ‘It is not me, don’t worry’.

“The bad mistake I did was doing [tweeting] ‘OK, he [Seluk] is right’. That’s the one that’s killing me. People started to believe what he said is me. The fans were reading this, thinking badly about me, and I can understand it. Before the birthday cake. I accepted it [Seluk’s antics], because I respect [him].

“You have to give him credit too because he has helped me through a lot. But he did a lot of bad things. It was too much.”

It remains to be seen whether City can overcome the supposed curse to secure victory in the Champions League this season or if their failure to land the spoils will continue until next season.

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