Kolo Toure was officially unveiled as Warrior’s latest new star signing on Monday and immediately declared himself a man reborn since joining Liverpool.
The former Arsenal and Manchester City defender has become something of a cult hero at Anfield since swapping Manchester for Merseyside in the summer.
And after agreeing a deal to endorse Warrior — who also manufactures Liverpool’s uniform — the Ivory Coast international spoke to Liverpoolfc.com about life at Liverpool, the title race and being a warrior on the field.
Liverpoolfc.com: Kolo, how does it feel to officially be a Warrior player now?
Toure: It feels really, really good. I am very happy. I love the boots and the Warrior clothes but more than that, I love what Warrior stands for. It is a perfect match for me because I am like a warrior out on the pitch. To be a Warrior player suits me because I like to fight for my team and I always give my all.
Liverpoolfc.com: How do the boots feel?
Toure: I am very happy with the boots. I spent a lot of time talking to Warrior about what I wanted from a pair of football boots. It’s very important for me that I wear boots that I am comfortable playing in and Warrior listened to what I wanted and have made boots that are perfect for my style of game. I really respect the fact that they listened to me and, having trained in them, now I am looking forward to wearing them for the first time in a proper match.
Liverpoolfc.com: It’s been over six months since you agreed to join Liverpool — how do you reflect on your time so far at the club?
Toure: It’s been great for me personally but, more importantly, I think it’s been a great time for the club and the club are more important than me or any individual player. I received an amazing welcome from the manager and my new teammates when I arrived here in July and I am just happy that things are going well on the pitch for not just me, but the club. The fans are amazing and they have made me feel alive again. At Liverpool, I feel reborn. I feel great.
Liverpoolfc.com: Is life at Liverpool everything you expected?
Toure: Honestly? It’s more than what I expected. The fans are unbelievable, the manager is great, my teammates are fantastic and everyone around the club has been really supportive. I feel like I have a new lease of life and I am enjoying every minute of it.
Liverpoolfc.com: Have you been surprised at just how big the club is?
Toure: It’s unbelievable! I knew Liverpool was a big, big club but when we went on tour, I just had to stop and say: ‘Wow!’ In Jakarta, there were thousands of fans at the airport and then we played in front of over 80,000 fans in the stadium. In Australia, it was incredible with 95,000 fans at the MCG and then Bangkok was crazy as well. When I heard the fans sing on tour, I knew this club was special and it’s been the same back here in Liverpool. Truly amazing.
Liverpoolfc.com: You’ve played at other big clubs like Arsenal and Manchester City — how does the feeling of being an LFC player compare to when you played for those clubs?
Toure: I don’t want to start comparing clubs or different times in my life. Right now, I just want to say I am very happy and I am enjoying myself. I am playing as part of a great squad with a great manager. I’ve been very happy at all the clubs that I have played for and I am definitely happy now.
Liverpoolfc.com: The fans have instantly taken to you and made you a cult hero — how does that make you feel?
Toure: It feels great and it gives me the courage to keep working hard for the team and for the fans. I always try to give 100 percent for the team and knowing I have the support of the fans makes me even more determined to make sure I do my best for them. When I meet fans and they are supportive of me, it genuinely means a lot.
Liverpoolfc.com: On the subject of the fans, when you run out and you hear “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Anfield being sung by over 40,000 fans, can you describe what that feels like as a player?
Toure: The first time I heard it as a Liverpool player, I was like: ‘Wow!’ I knew then that we certainly weren’t alone. The song sounds so good when you are out there wearing a Liverpool shirt.
Liverpoolfc.com: In terms of football, things are going great on the pitch — the Reds are second in the league as we come up to Christmas. Have you been surprised with how competitive this season has been?
Toure: No, not at all. The Premier League is fantastic and that is why the whole world loves it. Every single player gives 100 percent for their team and in any match, either team can win. It’s the most competitive league in the world because every team fights to win every match. Lots of teams can win the league and every team can beat the other teams in the league.
Liverpoolfc.com: What is the mood like amongst the players?
Toure: The team is happy right now, but we realize it is a long season and we haven’t even reached the halfway point. Every day is a new day for us players. The past is the past and only the next match matters. We enjoy winning games but the next game is always more important than the last game — no matter what the result was.
Liverpoolfc.com: What is the goal now for Liverpool — to win the league or finish in the top four?
Toure: We want to win the league. Every team wants to win the league. No team starts the season wanting to finish fourth. We all start with zero points and the team that works the hardest and wants it the most will finish the season as champions. In May, we’ll know who that team is but until then, we’ll do everything we possibly can to try and make sure it is Liverpool.
Liverpoolfc.com: A quick word on the man of the moment — Luis Suarez. As a teammate, do you ever stop and think, “wow”, at some of the things he does on the pitch?
Toure: [Laughs] I stop and think ‘wow’ every day in training. He scores unbelievable goals all the time in training so we shouldn’t really be surprised by what we see him do in matches. Daniel Sturridge amazes me as well — he is an amazing talent and we are lucky to have them both. Philippe Coutinho must get a mention too. I think he is a wonderful player and one of the best players we have at the club. He’s an incredible talent and still only young.
Liverpoolfc.com: And the captain Steven Gerrard?
Toure: Steven Gerrard is the ultimate role model for any young footballer in the world. He’s done it all but he trains like he has just broken into the team. Every day, he gives 100 percent in training. He has the ultimate respect of his teammates because he works so hard. He’s earned his respect. We have a great squad here because we have the experienced older players as well as lots of younger players who are really hungry for success for this club. And finally, I must mention our new goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, because I think he has been outstanding since the day he arrived. To have a goalkeeper like that gives us lots of confidence to play the way we play.
Kolo Toure has been announced as the latest player to join Warrior Football. Toure will wear Warrior’s “Skreamer Pro Boot”. For more information, visit www.warriorfootball.com
Photo via Facebook/Liverpool FC