Liverpool’s new signing, Kolo Toure, has spoken of his joy at joining a side who plays the same possession-based brand of football he has always thrived on.
Toure learned about Brendan Rodgers‘ on-field philosophy first hand when he visited Anfield at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
The Ivorian helped City salvage a 2-2 draw courtesy of Carlos Tevez‘s late equalizer.
However, the way the Reds kept possession on the day and built attacking moves from their own back-line left a lasting impression on Toure.
“The football Liverpool plays is amazing,” Toure told Liverpoolfc.com. “They build from the back, which I love.
“I played against Liverpool at the beginning of last season and it was really hard. The passing of the ball was great.
“The club is improving. The manager is doing a really great job, and I think this season is going to be better for Liverpool, definitely.
“The manager’s plan is simple: he wants good footballers, but good men as well, who can bring the club to the top. You do that through hard work, and I’m here to work really hard and listen to anything he tells me to improve the team.”
Toure’s trophy haul boasts 11 honors, including league titles at all three of his previous clubs — ASEC Mimosas, Arsenal and Manchester City.
He has also captained Arsenal, City and the Ivory Coast throughout his glittering career. But at 32 years of age, did he expect to make another high-profile move to a club like Liverpool?
“Honestly? No,” admitted Toure. “When you get to 32 it’s always difficult to find a big, big club like Liverpool. For me, it’s a great challenge, and I’m looking forward to it.
“I will do my best; I will fight and do everything to show that I am still a good player.
“The club is massive and the history of the club is amazing. I’m here to try and do my best and see what I can bring to this fantastic football club.”
Following Jamie Carragher‘s retirement from football in May this year, Rodgers moved to sign Toure, in order to add experience and bolster the Reds’ defensive ranks.
He knows he faces stiff competition in the form of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger — among others — for a place in the side. However, this is the sort of challenge Toure has become accustomed to.
“When I arrived at Arsenal nobody knew about me. I had to make my name, which was not easy because I was part of one of the best squads of players with Patrick Vieira, Sol Campbell and Martin Keown,” he said.
“When I joined City it was a different challenge because it was a team that wanted to be one of the best in the world. They were bringing players from a lot of different places. Now it’s a new challenge — and I like challenges.
“I will fight; I will give 100 percent.”
After training with his teammates for the first time at Melwood on Tuesday, all that remains for Toure to do now is pull on the shirt for real. And having locked horns with Liverpool 21 times throughout his career, he is now relishing the prospect of running out in front of the Kop as a Reds player.
“The fans are amazing,” he said. “When you get to Anfield it’s really special, because there are 11 players on the pitch but there are the fans behind them — and the support they give to the players is massive.
“Very soon I will be by their side and I think that will be better for me because they are so loud!”
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