Yaya Toure makes bold Man City statement

Veteran Manchester City star Yaya Toure believes his side are playing the best football in Europe.

The veteran midfielder has featured little this season but has been impressed by the performances of his team-mates.

City are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League and through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Toure said: “To be honest, at the moment we are very good. I think we practise the best football in Europe at the moment.

“When you see the team playing you are sure we are going to score goals because we see how we are dominating, how we control the game. It’s fantastic.”

Toure feels the team is making considerable strides under Pep Guardiola and is eager to challenge for Champions League glory again. The pair won the competition together with Barcelona in 2009.

Speaking at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s Champions League clash away to Shakhtar Donetsk, Toure said: “As we go forward we are going to find some difficult opponents and we want to try to play against some big opponents to see where we are.

“The Champions League is probably the best competition in the world. To be able to win it again, to repeat what I did in 2009 with the manager in a different country, a different club, would be something special.

“But we have to wait because tomorrow we have Shakhtar.”

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Toure, 34, is likely to feature as Guardiola makes some changes for the final Group F game in Kharkiv.

The match has little consequence for City having already secured top spot in the group while they also have a derby with Manchester United at Old Trafford looming on Sunday.

Toure played for Metalurh Donetsk earlier in his career. Shakhtar have been unable to play in their home city for the past three years due to civil war.

Toure said: “I would love to be able to play in Donetsk again but we can’t due to certain circumstances. They’re a beautiful team with a great squad and coach.”

Guardiola, sitting alongside Toure at the Metalist Stadium, insisted his team would not be easing up as they seek a club record-extending 21st consecutive win in all competitions.

The Spaniard said: “We travelled here to win the game, to make a good performance and show respect for the clubs and this competition. We are preparing to win the game and trying to do as much as possible to make a good game.”

Guardiola put his head in his hands when asked a question about Lionel Messi. A report has claimed City made the Barcelona star a big-money offer before he signed his new contract at the Nou Camp recently.

Guardiola has repeatedly rubbished stories linking City with Messi throughout his tenure at the Etihad Stadium.

“Never was going to happen,” said Guardiola, shrugging incredulously. “I didn’t speak with him but if he wanted to leave he wouldn’t have signed the contract. It’s not true.”