Outgoing Manchester City veteran Yaya Toure jokingly said he hates Nemanja Matic after he described the Manchester United midfielder as his toughest opponent.
Toure will depart Premier League champions City at the end of the season, which leaves the 34-year-old midfielder with only two more matches before his farewell.
The Ivory Coast international – winner of three Premier League titles – arrived from Barcelona in 2010 and came up against a host of stars in England but none tougher than towering former Chelsea midfielder Matic.
Toure, who plans to stay in the Premier League next season, said: “I hate him, this b******!
“He’s such a difficult player to play against. Tall and strong as well. It’s been fun to play against him, even though it’s difficult. He’s powerful, he’s tall.
“To be able to find an opponent to play against me and stop me… there’s few of them, but Matic was one of the close ones who was able to give me problems. He can run. He can fall back. He can track. He can fight. He’s a good, good player.”
Toure also identified record-breaking forward Sergio Aguero as his favourite City team-mate at.
“Everybody knows I have a feeling for Aguero. I love Aguero. This guy is such a good striker. He’s complete,” he said. “I love David Silva and [captain] Vincent Kompany as well.”
Toure added: “I’m going to miss my team-mates, I’m going to miss my little [Raheem] Sterling, my little [Leroy] Sane. They look like my babies.”
Pep Guardiola’s City host Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.