Ivory Coast superstar Yaya Toure has announced he is ready to return to the national team after a lengthy absence. Toure, 34, announced his international retirement in September 2016, over one year after his last appearance for the Les Elephant.
The Manchester City midfielder has however made a shock announcement of his return to international football via his official Twitter handle on Sunday evening.
“I love my country and am available for national team selection. I want to help the next generation and use my experience to make all Ivorians proud!!,” read his tweet.
Yaya Toure has had 100 caps with the team with his high point coming in their success at the Africa Cup of Nations final in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2015 – a shootout victory over neighbours Ghana.
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In his absence though, Ivory Coast wobbled and ultimately failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia after also failing to advance from the group stage of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon – losing out to Morocco on each occasion.
Yaya’s elder brother, Kolo is presently serving as an assistant coach to the Ivorian national team.
Ivory Coast’s next competitive game is away to Rwanda in a 2019 Nations Cup qualifier next September, at a time when Yaya will be 35. The Elephants have lost their first qualifying game at home to Guinea in June.