|Date of Birth||
19 March 1981
|Place of Birth||
Bouake, Ivory Coast
1.83 m (6'0")
Kolo Habib Touré (born 19 March 1981) is an Ivorian international footballer who played as a central defender. He joined Liverpool from Manchester City on 2 July 2013, and left upon the expiration of his contract in 2016.
In May 2013, after the 2012-13 season had finished, rumours spread that Toure had agreed a deal with Liverpool and would undergo a medical after he returned from Manchester City's post-season tour of America. On 28 May 2013, the official Liverpool website announced that the club had agreed a deal in principle for Toure to sign on a Bosman free deal ahead of the 2013-14 season. Toure officially became a Liverpool player on 2 July 2013, and took the number 4 shirt. In signing, Toure became the first player from the Ivory Coast to represent Liverpool, and on his decision to join Liverpool, he enthused "This means a lot to me. Firstly, I'm joining one of the best clubs in England. When I left City it was important for me to stay in England because it's the best league- and to join Liverpool is massive for me. I chose Liverpool because of the history and because of the spirit of the team and the people here."
Toure made his non-competitive debut for Liverpool on 13 July 2013 in an away preseason tie against Preston. He played the first 45 minutes of the game. On 17 August 2013, Toure made his competitive bow in a red shirt keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Stoke. After an acclaimed start to his Liverpool career, Toure was stretchered off in extra time in a 4-2 win over Notts County on 27 August 2013 in the League Cup with a groin injury. Manager Brendan Rodgers later admitted that the injury "doesn't look good." He recovered much more quickly than was expected however, and only sat out one match- the 1-0 victory over Manchester United on 1 September 2013. Upon his return, he spent time filling in at right back for the injured Glen Johnson whilst the revitalised Martin Skrtel retook his place in the starting XI.
During the winter period, Toure frequently partnered Skrtel at the heart of Liverpool's defence whilst Daniel Agger and Mamadou Sakho were out injured. The partnership struggled at times, notably conceding three goals in away games against Hull and Stoke. On 2 February 2014, Toure was criticised for playing a pass directly into the feet of Victor Anichebe in front of goal, who scored the equaliser for West Brom in Liverpool's 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns. Toure apologised and referred to his error as 'crazy' and 'terrible.' He responded in Liverpool's next match with a commanding display, and an assist for a Raheem Sterling goal, as the Reds beat League leaders Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield. Four days later however, Toure scored a bizarre own goal to put Liverpool behind in a 3-2 win at Fulham. Toure met the cross with his foot but sliced his clearance into his own net.
After his unconvincing end to the season, it was widely expected that Toure would accept a move abroad in the 2014 summer transfer window. Turkish side Trabzonspor agreed a fee with Liverpool in August 2014, however Toure rejected the chance to move there, suggesting that he had instead been assured that Brendan Rodgers still viewed him as an important part of the Liverpool squad for the 2014-15 season. Toure made his first appearance of the season on 23 September 2014, starting Liverpool's League Cup clash against Middlesbrough. With Liverpool leading 2-1 in the last minute of extra time, Toure felled Boro striker Patrick Bamford in the box after Raheem Sterling had inadvertently but the striker through on goal. The penalty was given and Bamford scored to send the match to a shootout. Liverpool prevailed from the shootout 14-13- with Toure netting his spot kick.
On 4 November 2014, Toure made a rare start in Liverpool's Champions League clash with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Following Madrid's 3-0 victory at Anfield in the previous fixture, expectation was that Liverpool were in line for another heavy defeat, however the Reds only lost by a 1-0 scoreline. Toure's performance garnered a lot of praise, with a great deal of focus placed on how he dealt with the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo. Many called for Toure to retain his place in the defence, particularly with Liverpool's regular defensive pairing of Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren failing to impress, however Brendan Rodgers opted to relegate Toure back to the bench for the Reds' next fixture- a home tie with Chelsea in the Premier League.
After the Liverpool continued to struggle defensively, Rodgers finally drafted Toure into his Premier League starting XI in place of Lovren for the Reds' home tie against Stoke City on 29 November 2014. Toure performed well in the match as Liverpool claimed a valuable 1-0 win- only their third clean sheet of the Premier League season to date. Toure's performances were well received by the fans, who voted him the winner of Liverpool's Player of the Month award for November 2014.
On 26 May 2015, Toure signed a one year extension to his contract, which was set to expire that summer.
On 5 January 2016, Toure started in a 1-0 League Cup semi-final win at Stoke, and put in a commanding performance despite spending most of the game alongside Lucas at centre back. On 14 February 2016, Toure after almost three years at the club, finally netted his first goal, with an awkward header to net the Reds sixth in a 6-0 win at Aston Villa.
Toure made his 71st and possibly final appearance for Liverpool on 18 May 2016, starting in the 2016 Europa League Final. The Ivorian was one of the Reds' few performers on the night, and was widely acclaimed Liverpool's man of the match, despite falling to a 3-1 defeat to Sevilla.
On 10 June 2016, it was finally confirmed that Toure would be leaving the club, with Jurgen Klopp not seeing a place for him in the next season's squad. The Ivorian left the club having made 71 appearances, and grabbing just the one goal, having come runner up in the Premier League, the League Cup, and the Europa League in his three year spell.
- Standard Chartered Player of the Month: 1 (November 2014)
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