Ivoirian star Yaya Touré believes the young generation can help the Elephants go all the way on the continental stage and win their second Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco in 2015.
Ahead of their qualifying campaign Group D opener against Sierra Leone today, the Manchester City’s midfielder shared his feelings with African football at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium.
How did you react to the appointment of Hervé Renard as new head coach of Côte d’Ivoire?
We have welcomed it. He is a great coach who has a proven track record. He begins a new journey with Côte d’Ivoire, and it is up to us to help him succeed with the Elephants.
Do you see yourself as a leader in the team following Didier Drogba’s international retirement and in the absence of several senior players?
Not necessarily. There are important players who are still here. The most important for us is to make sure the young generation finds its marks so they can add value to the team.
You have often been criticized. With the international retirement of Didier Drogba, do you think you can lead the Elephants?
Some ill-founded comments have been made, but criticism is part of football. We must be able to cope with criticism to move forward. The most important thing for me today is to focus on the objective and help the team to move ahead in the right direction.
So, what is your objective right now?
The objective is at last to win silverware. Some young players have joined us, and we need to make sure they have the perfect conditions to blossom and help the team to move forward. The youngsters are the future, and we need to help them. Through God’s grace we will win the Africa Cup of Nations.