Soccer players have a tough job in convincing people that they deserve to be paid the ludicrous sums of money they attract in wages, but stars like Yaya Toure just take disdain to a whole new level.
The Manchester City star, who is regarded as one of the best players in the Premier League, insists that he wants to leave the club – because they didn’t wish him happy birthday.
The Cote d’Ivoire international’s agent Dimitry Seluk told the British press this week that his client did not feel respected by the club’s owners, claiming that nobody congratulated Toure on his 31st birthday.
Toure, who earns £220,000 ($370,000) per week, turned 31 on May 13, two days after he helped Manchester City lift the Premier League trophy.
As the City players flew to the United Arab Emirates to meet their owners for more title celebrations, Toure was handed a cake and the club even tweeted a message to him.
But Seluk insists that the fact that the club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, did not acknowledge Toure’s landmark birthday (because everyone celebrates their 31st, right?) means that he must leave the club.
Seluk told Sky Sports News: “He is upset he wasn’t congratulated. If you’re a famous journalist and your boss forgets to congratulate, you would be a little upset.
“He does a lot for Manchester City. It’s very strange that staff don’t shake hands and say congratulations on your birthday. It’s not normal. Yaya is upset.
“We don’t ask for money or presents. We are just talking about attention. Some clubs send flowers to families. This is the main thing. Maybe at Manchester City they don’t know what this is. After the World Cup he will speak.”
In response, Toure tweeted: “My agent was trying to make a point here on my behalf, joke aside. It seems important for me to make a statement…I am going to do so.”
“Everything Dimitry said is true. He speaks for me. I will give an interview after World Cup to explain.”
With a wage like Toure’s most other people would forgive a small thing like forgetting your birthday…I forget my mother’s every year!
This is just the latest in a long string of Premier League players showing that money and fame have gone to their heads.
Two years ago, West Bromwich Albion defender Liam Ridgewell was pictured wiping his backside with a £20 note, with more wads of cash on the floor around him.
Stoke City winger Jermaine Pennant once left his €116,000 (£160,000) supercar in at a Spanish train station during his spell at Real Zaragoza – because he forgot he owned it.
And whilst at Manchester City, Italian striker Mario Balotelli splashed out on a camouflaged Bentley and used to drive round Manchester city centre throwing out notes to people on the street.
It’s likely that there are deeper reasons behind Toure’s cry for help, namely a desire to move back to Barcelona.
But the way he’s gone about it will surely leave a bitter taste in the mouths of soccer fans worldwide.