Kolo Toure Reflects on His Playing Career and Reveals He Wants to Inspire Other African Coaches

​Kolo Toure had a fascinating Premier League career. Joining Arsenal at the age of just 21 in the summer of 2002, he was immortalised as an Invincible in just his second season.

After scooping two FA Cups, Toure made a controversial move to Manchester City in 2009, adding a second Premier League title to his trophy haul several years later. Spells at Liverpool and Celtic followed before he hung up his boots for good in 2017.

Quite the career, eh? Judging by a recent interview, Toure is acutely aware of his position as a trailblazer for African players in the England.


"When I came here, there was no one from the Ivory Coast in the ​Premier League," he told the Sportsmail.

"There was nobody for me to look to for inspiration. We had players like Kanu (who is Nigerian), but not from my country. I am used to that situation, having no idol or role models. But I like the thought of trying to inspire people. They can see that things are possible.

"When I came here I felt I had to do everything properly. Because when you are the first player to come from your country, people judge every other Ivory Coast player by how you do. I was really proud of that because Didier Drogba, my brother Yaya, Didier Zokora, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou all eventually came here to express their talent."

Not content with only forging a path for African players, Toure now wants to leave an indelible mark on the coaching scene as well. After taking a coaching position at Celtic after retiring, he followed Bhoys boss Brendan Rodgers to ​Leicester last year. 

Brendan Rodgers,Kolo Touré

Although he had some doubts about his new career path at the beginning, Toure is now keen to inspire other young coaches. 

"At the end of my playing career I was thinking about what I could bring to the world," he admitted.

"The only thing I really knew and enjoyed was football. The only industry I felt I could really bring some creativity to was football.

"I have my experience and knowledge of the game. That’s why I am still in it. I want to pass it to the young generation.

Kolo Toure

"Some of my friends who have been playing maybe haven’t thought of that. But I want to do it because I think Africa needs that. Africa needs people who can inspire them. It’s difficult. You are putting yourself out there and it’s going to be hard.

"But there always has to be one person to start - and then the rest will follow."

Source : 90min