Many said he only left Barcelona for the money. After all, he reportedly earns more than $300,000 a week in England. Why else would you leave the world's most successful club?
Yaya Toure, however, insists that he came to Manchester City in 2010 for one reason -- to make history.
He could be proved right on Sunday, when City's expensively-assembled squad have the chance to win a first English league title in 44 years.
Such a success is but a small part of the dream held by the Premier League club's Abu Dhabi owners, and Toure -- who last season ended City's 35-year wait for a trophy by scoring the only goal of the FA Cup final -- is a key figure in their master plan.
"When City wanted to sign me from Barcelona, they were thinking about bringing a good player to try to add to the club and make history in four years," the Ivory Coast international told CNN.
"I think this is very interesting for me and for the club because I think they've made the right choice. We gained a couple of fantastic players, this year we're doing fantastically well. We have one more game, a very difficult game against QPR, although we hope we will win this game because it is very important."
"Important" perhaps does not do justice to Sunday's home match against a Queens Park Rangers team battling to avoid relegation.
City top the table from defending champions and fierce local rivals Manchester United by goal difference alone. If both teams have the same result this weekend then it will be the closest finish to an English season since Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the title in 1989 on number of goals scored.
But perhaps even more crucially, it will tip the balance of power away from United -- a club seeking a record-extending 20th league crown.
"If you want to make history you have to win," Toure said. "Last year we did it when we won the FA Cup, and this year with the signings we have I think we have to win something for this club.
"The fans were amazing this year, incredible, and they helped us a lot in difficult moments and good moments, so I think we've done everything for them. If we can win this title I think it will be for the fans and for the club."
City thrashed United 6-1 at Old Trafford in October as Roberto Mancini's men led the table by five points, but Alex Ferguson's side bounced back to move eight points clear at the top with six games to go.
City struggled in the wake of Carlos Tevez's fallout with Mancini, a controversy that saw the club's former captain and top scorer go missing for three months. Just as crucially, Toure was away for six weeks at the African Nations Cup, depriving City's midfield of its driving force.
Add to that the on and off-field indiscretions of Mario Balotelli, and it appeared that City's stars were shooting themselves in the foot.
"Sometimes it's difficult because when you have an important, quality player like that and they make something wrong, sometimes it's difficult because football is a game for all the group," Toure said.
"It's 11 players, 45 players who live together, you see each other more than you see your family, and you have to be careful because when one of your teammates is wrong it can affect almost all the other players.
"But I think this year we dealt with everything. Carlos is a fantastic player who we always hoped would come back because he is a really important player for us. Yeah he made a mistake but he's apologized to everyone and he's showed to the fans he's there to fight for his friends for the title."
Mancini has been criticized for his management methods since coming to England from Italian champions Inter Milan in mid-2009, but Toure credits him for inspiring belief that the title race was not over.
"When I was coming to City, it was Mancini taking me there. He believes in me ... when I was playing with Monaco he sent someone to look at me because last time he wanted to bring me to Inter because he was there," Toure said.
"I think the key was when Mancini started making a speech in the dressing room and said, 'Guys we don't have to give up because the Premier League is like that and maybe they can drop some points and we can come back. We have to believe to the end because we're in the most competitive competition in the world and most importantly we have to keep going, keep winning and maybe we'll be close to them.'