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Sports

Opinion: Yaya's gone gaga

Yaya Touré has gone ballistic about playing second fiddle to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. In an open letter to the midfielder, DW's Jefferson Chase advises him to chill out.

Dear Mr. Touré,

I must admit I cracked a smile when I read of your tirade about not winning the 2015 African Football Player of the Year award. In this age of sanitized player interviews, it's kind of refreshing when someone's not afraid to open his mouth and yell - as in the film Network - that's he's mad as hell and not going to take it.

Unfortunately, winning an award or not isn't something for a grown person to get mad about. Not mad enough anyway to portray the situation as "indecent," "pathetic" and bringing "shame" on an entire continent. Those words made me laugh - at but not with you. The way one laughs at a child throwing a temper tantrum about something he's blown way, way out of proportion.

There are many things that one could argue bring shame on Africa. Poverty, political corruption, ethnic and gender violence, and AIDS are just a handful that spring to my mind as an outside observer. Who gets named the continent's best footballer isn't anywhere near my list.

It's no fun feeling as though you've been passed over for a lesser rival. Most of us have had to experience this at some point in our lives, and no one likes it. But as a footballer, you know yourself that there's no legitimate way to compare players at different positions. Put forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on as a midfield string-puller, and he might not be very good. The same would apply to you spearheading the attack up front. Best player awards are per se apples and oranges stuff.

It's simply laughable to argue, as you did, that the choice of Aubameyang as the continent's top footballer is symptomatic of some African self-disregard. You won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015, a far more significant achievement. You should enjoy that triumph - as well as the general fact that you're a professional footballer, something millions of young people from your home continent will never get to be.

So Mr. Touré, please take my advice. Chill out a bit. You'll be a lot happier man for it.

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