One of the most sumptuous players in the previous 12 months and arguably the best performing midfielder in the 2013/14 Premier League season, Ivory Coast's Yaya Touré will be an enviable World Cup asset in Group C. The strength of Touré makes him the one of the hottest betting tips among midfielders in the tournament, while his spectacular goalscoring exploits recently make him the side's most profitable betting choice in individual goalscorer markets.
The experienced Touré, 31, started out as part of the ASEC Mimosas youth academy in 1996, playing subsequently for Beveren in Belgium and Metalurh Donetsk in Ukraine between 2001 and 2005 in which he played 70 games for Beveren.
A season at Greek side Olympiacos followed with three goals - plus the Greek Super League and Cup titles - before spending the following year at Monaco in 2006/07, dubbed at one stage "the new Patrick Vieira" as he climbed the French club out of relegation trouble before moving to Spanish giants Barcelona for £6.7 million in 2007.
Touré scored his first goal for Barcelona in a 5–0 victory over Inter Milan, one of six in 117 appearances as he helped the side towards the 2008/09 and and 2009/10 La Liga titles, the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League crown and 2009 Copa del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup, Supercopa and UEFA Super Cup victories.
In July 2010, Touré signed a five-year deal with Premier League club, Manchester City, for a fee of around £24 million. In 184 appearances since, 51 goals and a powerful passing central role reputation have been cemented at the club, Touré famously scoring the 2010/11 FA Cup winner against Stoke and helping Manchester City towards two Premier League titles in 2011/12 and 2013/14
Touré's best season recently concluded, with 20 Premier League goals as the Ivory Coast star proved one of the most influential men of the league - also netting a screaming long-range effort to begin a 2014 League Cup-winning comeback against Sunderland.
With that form, his international goalscoring statistics have reached a personal high also with six of his 16 overall goals coming in 2013, Touré's first Ivory Coast appearance coming in 2004 and since seeing him make 82 showings for the national side including at the previous two World Cups.
Touré scored four goals from his seven World Cup qualifying appearances for this summer's tournament, and previously netted a goal in the 2010 World Cup during their final group stage game against Korea.
Yaya Touré World Cup betting tips
Touré's current form has been influential, the midfielder often too strong for many an opposition. The last 12 months have also witnessed some audacious and truly great goals from Touré for Manchester City, making him a must-have on your individual goalscorer market betting slip this summer.
Rarely have free kicks and dead-ball scenarios been spurned by Touré's accuracy, plus he will also be the chosen penalty taker to increase his scoring odds as Ivory Coast attempt to progress into the last 16.