Toure: African heritage counts against me

Yaya Toure believes he is not seen as one of the best players in the world because he is African.

The Manchester City and Ivory Coast star has enjoyed a stunning season, scoring 18 Premier League goals - a tally surpassed only by Liverpool duo Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez this season - in 31 games.

A stunning 25-yard effort in last month's League Cup final led City to a 3-1 win over Sunderland and team-mate Samir Nasri claimed Toure would gain more recognition if he were Argentinian or Brazilian.

The 30-year-old has now echoed his colleague's sentiments.

He told BBC World News: "I think what Samir was saying was definitely true.

"To be honest, proper recognition has only come from the fans.

"I don't want to be hard and I don't want to be negative, but I want to be honest.

"If we play well and we don't have the recognition from the media, we are not going to be where we want to be."

Toure has been nominated alongside Suarez and Sturridge on the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award, together with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Adam Lallana of Southampton.

When asked if not winning the award would add to his ire, Toure replied: "Definitely. As a champion, as a winner, I always want to win."