Former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has joined Saudi Arabia as an assistant coach of the national team, re-uniting up with his former City boss Roberto Mancini.
Yaya Toure, 40, who retired from playing in 2019 left his job as assistant manager at Belgian club Standard Liege despite only joining in June of this year.
Mancini spent four years as City manager from 2009 to 2013, helping the club to win their first Premier League title in 2011/12.
Saudi Arabian soccer is on a high after the country was recently confirmed as the host nation for the 2034 World Cup.
But the Saudi men’s national team currently sits 57th in the FIFA Men’s World Rankings.
Mancini was appointed as Saudi Arabia manager in August on a deal reportedly worth $25m-per-year (£20.4m-per-year) after he resigned from his role with Italy.
Since taking charge of Saudi Arabia, Mancini has not yet won a game. His team has lost to Costa Rica, South Korea and Mali, as well as drawing with Nigeria.
Mancini and Toure enjoyed a robust relationship during their time at City, with the club also winning their first major trophy in 35 years in 2011 when they won the FA Cup after Toure scored the winner.
The Italian later tried to sign him at Inter Milan, but the Ivorian refused to leave City.
Toure’s first assignment will be to help Mancini’s team prepare for two World Cup qualifiers later this month against Pakistan and Jordan.
Saudi Arabia will also take part in the AFC Asian Cup, which starts in January 2024.