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Former Manchester City, Barcelona Star Yaya Toure Signs for Qingdao Huanghai

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 10: Yaya Toure controls the ball during the Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2018 match between England and The Rest of the World at Old Trafford on June 10, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Qingdao Huanghai have completed the signing of Ivory Coast and Manchester City legend Yaya Toure, it was confirmed on Wednesday. 

The Transfermarkt China Twitter account shared an image of the midfielder with the jersey of his new club:

TransferMarkt China @asaikana

OFFICIAL: CL1 club Qingdao Huanghai have announced the signing of Ivorian legend Yaya Touré. https://t.co/pTWDKK6pGc

Toure posted a statement about the move on his website. Here is a section of it:

"I am very happy to be part of the Huanghai family here in Qingdao, China. The club owner Mr. Wang and everyone here at the club make me feel at home. The fans have also been fantastic and showed so much love! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the club owner and staff for their warm welcome and my Chinese agent for the great care and support. 

"I believe my experiences in football will offer something new to this growing club and together we can make great history! I can't wait to let my football do the magic once again, let's enjoy football together!"

Per Tom Matson of Goal, in May it was widely reported that Toure would be retiring from football after comments from his agent, although he denied that was the case, saying he would continue to play if he was able to find an appropriate club.

Toure's previous club was Olympiakos, although his contract with the Greek giants was terminated in December; the 36-year-old only made five appearances for the team.

The midfielder is best remembered for his spells with City and Barcelona, though. With the latter, he won the UEFA Champions League and two La Liga titles before making the switch to the Premier League.

At City, he became a club legend, helping the team to three Premier League crowns. Toure scored some incredible goals in an eight-year spell with the club:

Manchester City @ManCity

#OnThisDay in 2010 @YayaToure signed for us! 🙌 Time to enjoy a few of these...⚽🚀 🔵 #mancity https://t.co/3jTPj2j6fD

Qingdao Huanghai are in the second tier of Chinese football and in a strong position to push for promotion in 2019. They are top of China League One at the halfway stage of the campaign and have a four-point lead to Guizhou Zhicheng in second spot.

Toure's arrival will come as a boost to the team. While he may not be as dynamic as was in his heyday, the Ivorian's passing range, experience and eye for goal should see him thrive in Chinese football.

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