Yaya Toure has labelled Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic a "b******!" – but only because he rates him so highly.
The Manchester City legend, who is set to leave the Etihad club at the end of the season after eight years, has been reflecting on the best players he has come up against during his time in the Premier League.
Matic immediately came to mind, and the 34-year-old quickly began reeling off the midfielder’s many attributes that make him a brilliant player, before revealing his envy for the Red Devils man.
"I hate him, this b******!" said Toure. "He’s such a difficult player to play against.
"Tall and strong as well. It’s been fun to play against him, even though it’s difficult. He’s powerful, he’s tall.
"To be able to find an opponent to play against me and stop me… there’s few of them, but Matic was one of the close ones who was able to give me problems.
"He can run. He can fall back. He can track. He can fight. He’s a good, good player."
Frank Lampard was recently asked the same question regarding the toughest players in the Premier League, and while he overlooked Matic, he name-dropped Toure.
"I would put Yaya Toure in the top five of the toughest midfield opponents I faced in my career, as at his peak he could change games on his own," Lampard told the BBC.
"Steven Gerrard probably edges it as the best I have played against, for his consistency over the years, but Yaya is up there along with Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Paul Scholes – which shows how highly I rate him."
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