It will be difficult to play against Barcelona, admits Yaya Toure

The Ivorian spent three years as a midfielder in Spain but will return to Camp Nou for the first time as a member of the opposition, a scenario he says he would have liked to avoid
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure admits it will be difficult to return to former club Barcelona when the two sides meet in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Ivorian spent three years at Camp Nou, where he says he learned a lot and made many friends, before making the move to Manchester.

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Now, though, Toure will return to Barcelona as a member of an opposing team for the first time - and he admits it is a scenario he is uncomfortable with.

"It's difficult because I don't really want to play Barcelona. It's a club I have a lot of respect for, a club which taught me a lot and where I have many friends who helped me," the 30-year-old told

"I will play against these guys at the Camp Nou. It's the stadium where I always wanted to play and now I'll be coming back wearing a different shirt.

"I didn't want to play in front of the fans who gave me so much love and respected me but that's football."

Toure does admit, however, that he has enjoyed a more expansive role since joining City, especially as he prefers the "fast-paced" style of English football.

"At Barcelona it was my job to hold and organise," he added. "It was all about being focused and never losing concentration.

"Now I can drop into defence or join the attack. I was limited to playing in the middle at Barcelona. I like playing in England because it's an open league and very fast-paced.

"We have a great desire to show our fans and everyone else that City are on the right track."