Yaya Toure has said goodbye to Manchester City fans as he prepares to leave the club.
Since signing for the club in 2010, the skilful midfielder has been at the heart of their rise to success and has three Premier League titles on his CV.
Toure fought back from exile last year to earn a new contract and, while he has rarely featured in his final year, has continued to be a valued member of the dressing room.
The 35-year-old is keen to play on and his agent has already issued a wager to any Premier League clubs interested in taking him on.
Before he moves on, Toure has been sure to make sure the City fans that sing his name know exactly how he feels about them.
“This is my personal message to you. For all your support, everything you have been doing for me and for my family, I want you to understand that you made me who I am now,” he said.
“It’s only at City I achieved lots of personal trophies like best African player four times in a row, playing games week-in week-out, being free from injury.
“You have always been on my back pushing me onto be the best.
“I want to say thank you to you. I have been appreciated for all the years we have been together.
“It is the first time in my whole career I have been with a club for more than eight years. The love I have shared with you has been immense and incredible.
“I thought it would never end but unfortunately it is now at the end. You will always stay in my heart and hopefully one day I will be very happy to come back.
“I think the thing my family and other persons close to me saying is the legacy I have left.
“I thank everyone. I’m very proud if I see you guys singing my name or other players or the name of the club.
“I am very happy and what I have been thinking for this club and thinking for you is what is happening now and I want to say thank you and I hope you will continue to support this club and be the greatest fans I have.”
City have been sure to give Toure a big send-off. The Ivorian captained the side for the final home game of the season against Brighton – his first league start of the campaign – and have produced a mosaic that will stand at the training ground near the pitch that will be named after him.
Vincent Kompany paid tribute on social media, declaring his teammate ‘the most complete midfielder I have ever seen’.