Africa: Gervinho and Yaya Toure - Familiar Heroes With No Capes

Some of the most decorated names in African football history are backup in the headlines, reminding the world that form is temporary but class is permanent.


"Clearly I wanted to keep him on for the whole game and I received a lot of insults from the stands, but I am taking some risks with him. He had 20 minutes against SPAL, plus some problems during the week, and I can't afford to lose him. Gervinho has unique technical and physical characteristics, so I can't let him get injured." - D'Aversa, Parma Manager

The 31-year-old Ivorian made a shocking return to the Serie A this summer under the newly promoted Parma from the Chinese Super League side, Hebei China Fortune. The Chinese adventure was one momentarily erased the AFCON winner from the global stage after as it was marked with injuries and lapses of form. He is however really back now. The former Arsenal forward who also struggled in North London is showing signs of his long term love affair with the Italian soil. Gervinho soared at AS Roma playing alongside Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko and he announced himself again over the weekend, scoring for Parma in their 2-1 loss to the Serie A champions, Juventus. Even though he is yet to regain full fitness, there was evidence that his quick dancing feet and killer instinct is a thing for eternity, something no injury or football league could take away. In fact, in the Juventus match, only Douglas Costa completed more dribbles than Gervinho, not even Ronaldo could match the Ivorian. Parma manager was full of praise for the forward and did acknowledge the Ivorian's ability singling him out as one for the key ingredients to his success formula.

Alex Sandro of Juventus competes for the ball with Gervinho of Parma Calcio during the serie A match between Parma Calcio and Juventus at Stadio Ennio Tardini on September 1, 2018 in Parma, Italy.

Yaya Toure

"I am as hungry for success now as I was when I first arrived here many years ago and I cannot wait to help the club win the trophies the great fans of Olympiakos deserve. It is now time to let my football do the talking once again." - Yaya Toure, Olympiakos

After Yaya's agent had teased the whole of London, announcing that the free agent had completed a medical in London, the four time African Player of the Year returned to Olympiakos in Greece. The 35-year old was mobbed by the Greeks with lit-flares subjecting the Ivorian to a hero's welcome.The sight in Greece was really something of the nature of a prodigal son being welcomed home and pretty much "Prince Charming" awaited to rescue the "Princess" from the giant castle guarded by the fiery dragon. After falling out of the domestic title race last time out, Olympiakos will be hoping that Yaya will pull off a Yaya and deliver the goods.

You can surely bet on the three time EPL Champion with Manchester City, AFCON winner and UEFA Champions League winner with Barcelona to live up to the hero status even when age seems to be catching up with him. Even in his own words, he sounds sharp and ready to roll.

Vincent Kompany of Manchester City embraces Yaya Toure of Manchester City as he is presented with a shirt in a frame during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on May 9, 2018 in Manchester, England.


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