Even 15 years ago, no one could imagine that the modest neighbour of the great Manchester United would not only become a formidable force in England but also turn into the planet’s strongest club. Abu Dhabi United Group acquired the Citizens in August 2008. Football stars came to the club with great opportunities, and the first big success came in the 2011/2012 season. Sergio Agüero’s goal against QPR in the 94th minute of the last round of the Premier League became one of the most famous in recent football history and finally changed the status of Manchester City – a rich club became a real grand and each subsequent season confirmed its position. Since Pep Guardiola arrived in early 2016, City has won 5 Premier League titles in 7 seasons, played regularly in the Champions League playoffs, and finally won the main European Cup this year. However, one should not think that the club had no history before 2008: this team had enough bright personalities, and today football betting company 1xbet will remind you of the players who will forever remain the pride of the Manchester blue part.

Billy Meredith

Billy Meredith still terrified opponent’s defenders after returning to City. Great Meredith is already 49 years old in 1924 cup match against Brighton.

The first superstar performed in Manchester in the late 19th century and early 20th century. According to legend, when scouts from the City came for 20-year-old Billy, who worked at the mine, Meredith’s colleagues almost beat the guests but received free beer and calmed down. Billy agreed to the transfer, but he combined football with work underground for another year. How do you like that, Erling Haaland?

Former defender Meredith became a star-playing winger. The experience of playing defence helped him to deceive defenders and score a lot. In 11 years at City, he scored 150 goals, including the only one in the FA Cup final in 1904. Two years later, Billy was accused of trying to bribe an opponent, the club did not support him, and he responded by saying that City illegally paid extra to players. As a result, the head coach of the team, Tom Maley, received a life ban, 17 team players were suspended from football until January 1907, and the club’s management was forced to put them up for sale. The auction occurred at the Queens Hotel in Manchester, and United became its primary beneficiary – the head coach of City’s eternal rival bought Billy Meredith for 500 pounds. And although the Reds bosses had to wait more than 7 months for the end of the suspension period for their new star, the investment paid off – Billy helped United become champions twice and win the FA Cup.

Meredith played for the Reds for 15 years, but the first love is not forgotten, and the player spent the last three years with The Blues. Meredith’s football longevity was aided by regular training and abstaining from alcohol, a rarity in those days. But the legend of Manchester both parts loved to chew tobacco, and at the beginning of his career, he did it right during matches. Grown-up Billy changed tobacco to a toothpick, which became part of his image: rare cartoons dedicated to Man City were without the forward’s image with a toothpick in his mouth.

Eric Brook

Eric Brook is City’s all-time leading scorer before Sergio Agüero. Brook’s powerful shots helped City become champion for first time in history.

A wandering forward who, during the match, can suddenly appear on any part of the pitch and make a result. Decades before Johan Cruyff, Eric Brook played like that. By the way, the Flying Dutchman never played a goalkeeper, but Brook wore gloves in at least 3 City matches! This is what a “football all-rounder” was by English soccer standards almost a century ago.

Brook’s partner Frank Swift said that the forward reminded him of dynamite – he was so firmly aimed at the opponents’ goal. In 1934, Brook led the team to their first FA Cup victory in 30 years, and in 1937, his 20 goals helped Manchester win their first league title. His scoring record of 177 goals was only beaten in 2017 by the above-mentioned Sergio Agüero, who led the Citizens to their first Premier League victory.

Bert Trautmann

Goalkeeper Bert Trautmann was paratrooper before joining City. He flew at Citizens’ goal too.

The war, coinciding with the end of Eric Brook’s career, gave City another club legend. The German Bert Trautmann was a paratrooper, visited the Soviet camp, and escaped from there, but a few years later, ended up in another camp – an English one. There he played football as a goalkeeper along with other prisoners and attracted the St. Helens team’s attention, from where he was called to the City in 1949.

Fans protested against “Fritz” in the team – about 20,000 people came out to protest. But Bert’s game – a fearless, athletic goalkeeper who played well with his feet over time won the fans’ hearts.

Trautmann’s story became legendary after the 1956 FA Cup Final. City was in the lead, but 15 minutes before the end, Bert suffered a neck injury but refused to leave the field and finished the match – after all, substitutions were not allowed at that time. After the game, an x-ray showed that Trautmann played out with a broken cervical vertebra. Shocked by his courage and game, English journalists recognized the German as the player of the year. Bert played 545 matches for the club and later got into the Hall of Fame of both English and German football.

Colin Bell

Colin Bell, late 1960s and early 1970s team legend. With such hairstyle, he could well play in The Beatles.

Bell was a key player in City’s last pre-modern champion team. 1968 turned out to be an amazing year for all Mancunians without exception. The neighbours from United won the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, and the City fans only laughed: “Are you the best on the continent? Yes, you are not the best even in England, not to mention Manchester!”

Bell was a box-to-box midfielder who played both defensively and offensively. Imagine Steve Gerrard, and you get an idea of how Colin played. He scored 152 goals between 1965 and 1979, helping City win a league title, FA Cup, two League Cups and two Charity Shields.

Colin was too young to play in the victorious home 1966 World Cup, but he was in the first team by the next tournament. Bell played 48 matches for the national team, more than any other City player before. The record was broken only by Joe Hart, but unlike him, Bell managed to prove himself in Europe. With him, the Citizens won their first European trophy – the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.

Georgi Kinkladze

Georgi Kinkladze played for City in Premier League for only 1 season. But at that time, even David Beckham could not keep up with him.

The documentary about this football master is called The Magician of Maine Road. Kinkladze was even compared to Maradona, and this was only partly a joke. Georgi moved to Manchester City in 1995 and began to conquer Albion with his spectacular southern technique.

That team did not fight for titles, but its matches gathered full stadiums, not only in Manchester. Kinkladze quickly became one of the brightest players in English football, his dribbling was reminiscent of the modern game of Bernardo Silva, and he could pass no worse than Kevin de Bruyne. The Georgian midfielder spent only 3 seasons in City, of which only 1 in the Premier League, but he is remembered by all the real fans of the Citizens.

Kinkladze was the kind of player who gave a spectacle and hope for the best, even in the most challenging times for the club. For the sake of such players, fans go to stadiums in all eras, regardless of the club’s results and titles. It’s no surprise that Georgi was named Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons. Today he is an important page in the Manchester superclub history.

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