Football is a game where talent trumps everything. Sometimes, luck comes into the picture as well. Talent plus luck equals trophies. However, there are many intangibles, and superstitions that exist in football as well. Yaya Toure’s curse on Pep Guardiola and Manchester City by his then agent Dimitri Seluk is one of the most prominent ones.
Recently, the Russian agent came out and said that the curse had been lifted (via The Mirror)-
“I want to apologise for this matter.
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.”
So, what is the Yaya Toure curse? What effect did it intend to have on Manchester City, and why was it inflicted by Dimitri Seluk? We answer it all here-
Yaya Toure curse- What is it?
When Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City, Yaya Toure was one of the club’s most important players. His peak had come in the 2013-14 season where he scored 20 goals in the Premier League en route to winning the PL title.
However, winds of change blew under Guardiola. While stalwarts like Joe Hart were discarded ruthlessly, Yaya Toure fell out of favour. Although he did play two seasons under Pep, the 2017/18 season was to be the nadir of his spell there.
Toure made just one start in the league that season and he and his entourage were frustrated.
Angry at the course of events, his eccentric, now former agent, Dimitri Seluk, said he had “turned all Africa against himself” and that “African shamans in the future will not allow Guardiola to win the Champions League”.
And this, the Yaya Toure curse was born. As per Dimitri Selik, Manchester City were doomed to fail in the UEFA Champions League for Pep Guardiola’s treatment of Yaya Toure because African shamans would curse him.
For his part, Yaya Toure has publicly come out and distanced himself from this narrative and Seluk-
My former agent is 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.
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) May 8, 2023
Is the Yaya Toure curse real?
Tricky question, depending upon your beliefs. While Pep Guardiola has, in fact, failed to win the Champions League, it can hardly be attributed to a “curse” by the agent of an affronted player.
On the other hand, there have been instances where the way Cityzens have got knocked out of the competition beggars belief. Be it Raheem Sterling’s open goal miss against Lyon, or City conceding two goals in injury time to Los Blancos last year, Manchester City have often looked, for the lack of a better term, “cursed” in the tournament.
So, what happens now that the curse is lifted? What did Dimitri Seluk say about City’s chances in the tournament this year?
Curse lifted- UCL won?
Manchester City have never looked closer to winning the Champions League than this season. With Erling Haaland rewriting record books on a seemingly weekly basis, they have torn through the competition.
Their dominance has been so thorough, even Dimitri Seluk has apologised, going as far as to back City for a UCL win, and a potential treble.
“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.”
Is this a case of Dimitri Seluk smartly taking his words back in anticipation of an expected win by Manchester City? Nobody knows. However, one thing is for sure, if City do end up winning the Champions League this season, or even the next three (very likely), Dimitri Seluk will come out looking like a very wise man!