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'I won everything at Barca. City was a new challenge'

There are reasons why a move to Manchester City might have appealed to Yaya Toure in July 2010.

One of these can be written on a piece of paper. This is also known as his wage slip since the midfielder was reported to have become the highest-earning player in English football when he signed for City, earning around £250,000 a week.

The other reasons can be accounted for without the need to get the bank manager on the phone. Toure stepped lightly from Barcelona to move to England but was laden with silverware: two league titles, one Copa del Rey, the Supercopa de Espana, a Champions League trophy, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, all picked up at Camp Nou. Having been part of a side which dominated Spain, Toure was eager to find a new world to conquer.

The empire which City are attempting to build appealed to him and the midfielder will be relied upon to gain further territory in Europe by leading City through the last 16 of the Champions League. That will begin in Manchester, in the first leg of a tie with Barca.

"Since I have come to City we have always been on top," said Toure. "I have won trophies here and some individual awards and I am very happy here. When I came it was the right time to move and I do believe we have the manager, the players, the squad to win the Champions League.

"Some people might think I came for other reasons, but I'd been [with Barcelona] for three years and won everything I could so there was nothing else for me to win. City was a new challenge."

It is one which has brought him back in contact with old friends, with Barca alighting at the Etihad Stadium on the back of a 6-0 win in the league. The Catalan side have lost some of their lustre this season - progress to the final of the Copa del Rey was achieved simply, but it was not spectacular - and there has been little indication that City are trembling as Barca roll into town.

"The manager will decide but I think it's important that we stick to our game, that we go on the attack because we have attacking players," said Pablo Zabaleta, the City defender. "It's a special match."

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