Samir Nasri believes team-mate Yaya Toure would be seen as "the best midfielder in the world" if he was Brazilian or Argentinian.
Ivory Coast international Toure has been the driving force in Manchester City's engine room since his move from Barcelona in 2010, and his wonder-strike set Manuel Pellegrini's men en route to League Cup glory against Sunderland on Sunday.
And City playmaker Nasri, who followed Toure's 55th-minute equaliser at Wembley with a sublime finish of his own 90 seconds later, feels the 30-year-old suffers in terms of gaining global recognition due to his nationality.
"If he wasn't African everyone will say he's the best midfielder in the world," the Frenchman said.
"Of course it counts against him being from Ivory Coast. If he was Argentinian or Brazilian everyone will talk about him, everyone.
"You have some Brazilians or Argentinians, I don't want to say anything wrong, but just because they are from this country you pay them £40million or £50million."
Former Arsenal man Nasri went on to hail the all-round qualities of Toure, who has 17 goals in all competitions this season.
"He can do everything," he added. "He can score goals, he can defend, he can attack.
"When he gets the ball he is so powerful. I might be a little bit biased because he's my friend, but for me he's in the top three of the best midfielders in the world.
"A guy like Yaya, he has won every trophy, he is always there. Tell me one defensive midfielder who can score 16 or 17 goals in a season.
"Tell me one and then we can talk."
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