Ivorian Yaya Toure has officially joined the coaching staff of Ukrainian club FC Olimpik Donetsk.
Toure 37, has previously played for Manchester City and Barcelona and has recently been pursuing his coaching qualifications in England, spending time with QPR and Blackburn.
However, his first official role has seen him return to eastern Ukraine and a city where he spent time with the now defunct Metalurh Donetsk between 2003 and 2005.
”I started my professional career in Donetsk – now I am here to start my coaching path,’ Toure told club media.
”Of course I know that Olimpik is not Metalurh, but I remember well how friendly and open the people of Donetsk were. I am very impressed by the local people.
”To be honest, even my agent was surprised when he found out I wanted to learn to coach in Ukraine, but I was firm in my decision.
‘It is not so easy to find a place where (you) can calmly, without unnecessary pressure, study, and where you will be accepted as a friend,” he added.
The former Ivory Coast captain joins the staff of head coach Igor Klimovsky and said he wanted to both learn and pass on his own experiences.
”I am confident I can be useful for the Olimpik players, as a professional and a friend,’ he said. ”To suggest something, share your knowledge and vision of football.”
Toure, who won three Premier League titles with City and LaLiga twice while at Barcelona, finished his playing career with a spell at Qingdao Huanghai in the Chinese Super League, leaving the club in January last year.
He also took to his Twitter to show his excitement about the new responsibility.
“It’s great to be back in the Ukraine to continue by coaching journey!
Thank you to Olympic Donetsk for the wonderful welcome.
I’m looking forward to passing on my knowledge, helping the team and also continuing my learning here,” he tweeted.
In 2015, Toure captained Ivory Coast and won their second Africa Cup of Nations title, defeating Ghana 9–8 in a penalty shoot-out after the final finished goalless following extra time.