Yaya Toure blasts former agent for saying Pep Guardiola Champions League 'curse' has been lifted
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The Champions League cursed placed on Pep Guardiola at Manchester City has been lifted - according to the man who introduced it.
In 2018, Yaya Toure's highly controversial agent, claimed that an "African curse" had been affecting City in the Champions League in response to what he perceived to be ill-treatment of the Ivorian midfielder.
Toure played under Guardiola at Barcelona and then at City for two seasons but was benched by the Catalan and made just one Premier League start in the 2017/18 campaign.
Dimitri Seluk, who memorably criticised City for not giving client Toure a birthday cake in 2014, stated that the feud between the two was the reason why City would come up short in the Champions League.
Guardiola won the competition twice in three seasons with Barcelona - the second of which was in 2011 - but failed to lift it with Bayern Munich.
The closest he came was in 2021, when City got to the final but were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in an all-English final in Porto.
Their quarter-final exits came at the hands of Liverpool, Spurs and Lyon, while City led 5-3 on aggregate going into the last minute of their semi-final second leg against Real Madrid, who scored twice in stoppage time.
"He [Guardiola] turned all Africa against himself, many African fans turned away from Manchester City," Seluk said.
"And I'm sure that many African shamans in the future will not allow Guardiola to win the Champions League.
"This will be for Guardiola an African curse. Life will show whether I am right or not."
City are out for revenge against 14-time European champions Real and travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg on Tuesday.
With Erling Haaland banging in 51 goals in all competitions, the Blues are chasing a historic treble and Seluk has changed his tune.
The Russian says the curse has been terminated and is cheering City on to win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
"I want to apologise for this matter," he told The Mirror.
"I think it is time for this bitterness to stop - and I know that Yaya feels the same because he wishes nothing but success for City.
“I can say that the spell has now been lifted by the shamans - and that I think City will win the Champions League under Pep.
“They have a good chance of winning it this year. But whatever happens they will definitely win it in the next three years.
“Do you remember when I once criticised City for not giving Yaya a cake on his birthday?
“Well it is my birthday this month and my present is for this curse to be ended. In fact, it is my hope that City win the Treble this season.”
Some fan City fans joked that Toure, now a coach in Tottenham's academy, had lifted the curse when he wished them "good luck" at the Champions League group stage draw in August.
Toure controversially claimed Guardiola had a "problem with Africans" and his attempts to apologise have been met with silence from the 52-year-old.
The 39-year-old hit out at his former agent on Twitter for amplying "lazy stereotypes" and stressing that he is no longer associated with him.
My former agent is being quoted by the media about a ‘curse’.— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) May 8, 2023
Please don’t associate me with this nonsense and lazy stereotypes about African curses!? 🤔
Media… move on please. This man does not represent me in any way. Amplifying these stereotypes is harmful.
He wrote: "My former agent being quoted by the media about a ‘curse’. Please don’t associate me with this nonsense and lazy stereotypes about African curses!?
"Media… move on please. This man does not represent me in any way. Amplifying these stereotypes is harmful."