Former Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City defender Kolo Toure has announced his retirement from football and taken up a coaching role at Celtic.
Toure, 36, has been handed the title of technical assistant, with the club stating he would be “supporting on all first-team coaching matters, as well as using his knowledge, experience and expertise to assist across the club’s various youth levels.”
He made 17 appearances for Celtic after being reunited with former Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers last summer, and had been hoping to extend his playing career.
But he took up a coaching role with the Ivory Coast national set-up in the summer and has been doing some work with Rodgers and his backroom staff in recent weeks.
Quoted on the club’s official website, Toure said: “I couldn’t be happier to be back at this great club.
“This is a new chapter in my career, a new beginning. The football is over now. I can officially say I am retired from playing and now I am fully concentrating on coaching.
“For me there is no big change in terms of what I will be doing. I have always been the kind of player who tries to help those around me.
“Now I will try to give advice, help the young players and just guide them and pass on all the experience I have acquired during my career.”
Great news! #CelticFC welcome Kolo Toure back to the Club as Technical Assistant.
➡️ https://t.co/7fsruOGmTi pic.twitter.com/4Pjr8AIECI
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) September 15, 2017
Toure had been given some coaching experience in the second half of last season and is thirsty for more knowledge.
“I can learn so much from working with Brendan Rodgers, he is a top manager,” he said. “I will be working with him and his staff very closely each day.
“He is one of the best young managers in the world right now. What he’s doing for Celtic is there for all to see, he’s doing amazingly right now.”
Rodgers added: “This is great news for Celtic that we are able to bring a man of Kolo’s experience into our coaching team. In everything he does, he is quite simply a fantastic example to anyone.
“He has worked at the top of the game for so many years and he has all the qualities which any player of any age should aspire to.
“He is a fantastic role model for our younger players and someone who has a level of experience and knowledge which can only be invaluable to our established players.”