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The Manchester City star spoke of his respect for the Frenchman as well as giving his opinion on Barcelona's upcoming Champions League semi-final clash with Bayern Munich

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has heaped praise on Eric Abidal and Tito Vilanova after their respective battles with illness.

The 29-year-old played at Camp Nou between 2007 and 2010, and had some particularly kind words to say about his former team-mate Abidal, who recently made his return to football following a liver transplant.

"I'm happy for Tito and Abidal. They're great. Abidal is a fantastic person and what he's done is very inspiring. He's an example for all of us," Toure told Rac1.

Toure also had his say on Barcelona's upcoming Champions League semi-final first leg clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

He continued: "The game against Bayern will be very difficult, but Barca are always favourites for me. There are always difficulties in the Champions League, like against Milan, but I believe that Barca's quality - and Messi's above all - can decide the game."

Toure made 61 league appearances in his three years with the Blaugrana, scoring eight goals before joining City in 2010. 

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