Manchester City is one of the top clubs in England as well as Europe. They have a team full of superstars that can take on any team in the world. Many great players have played for the club in its history even when they didn’t have the resources which they have now. In this article, we will have a look at some of the greatest Manchester City players ever.
Here are the 10 Greatest Manchester City Players Ever!
[nextpage title=”1″ ]
10. Mike Summerbee
Signed by Joe Mercer, Summerbee is one-third of the glorious City triumvirate that also included Colin Bell and Francis Lee. In his first season at the club he started every single match, the only Manchester City player to do so that season.
Playing on the right-wing, he was one of the most influential players in the side which won 4 trophies in 3 seasons; including the First Division, FA Cup and League Cup between 1968 and 1970. City fans voted him Player of the Year in 1972 and 73 – and in total he made 452 appearances for the club, scoring 68 goals before leaving for Burnley in a £25,000 deal in 1975.
9. Vincent Kompany
One of the first names that spring up to our mind when we talk about ‘greatest Manchester City players ever’ is Vincent Komapny. An absolute Manchester City hero, Kompany has captained the team to four Premier League title, and he has taken great pride in doing so. Since his arrival, he was the backbone of the Manchester City defence and his injuries resulted in poor defensive problems by the club.
Kompany was included in the Premier League Team of the Year for two years in a row in 2011 and 2012 as well as being included in the 2014 team, and won the Premier League Player of the Season in 2012. He left the club for Anderlecht in 2019, after spending more than a decade with the blue side of Manchester.
He has become an ambassador for the club and will go down as one of the Premier League’s best defenders, having been signed for just £6m in 2008.
8. Peter Doherty
A pre-war hero, who many older fans argue was even better than Colin Bell and few also regarded him as the greatest Manchester City player ever. He was an inside left, one of the top players of his time, winning a league title with Manchester City, he gained 16 caps for Ireland.
Doherty scored 82 goals in 134 appearances before the Second World War cut his career short. He was in the first group of 22 players to be inducted into the English Football Players Hall of Fame.
In his autobiography, Sunderland legend Len Shackleton wrote of Doherty:
“Peter Doherty was surely the genius among geniuses. Possessor of the most baffling body swerve in football, able to perform all the tricks with the ball, owning a shot like the kick of a mule, and, with all this, having such tremendous enthusiasm for the game that he would work like a horse for ninety minutes. That was pipe-smoking Peter Doherty, the Irish redhead who, I am convinced, had enough football skill to stroll through a game smoking that pipe-and still make the other twenty-one players appear second-raters. But of course Peter never strolled through anything. His energy had to be seen to be appreciated.”
7. Francis Lee
Lee was an integral part of City’s most successful ever team. A then club record £60,000 signing from Bolton Wanderers in 1967, Lee certainly proved value for money, even if he came with what was a hefty price tag at the time. A supreme goal-scorer, the converted winger was the spearhead in a golden era for City. His strength and tenacity were admired by fans, and he had an uncanny knack of “winning” penalties and converting them.
One of the most prolific goal-scorers in the history of the club, he scored 148 goals in 330 appearances and was City’s leading marksman on four occasions.
In his first season he helped City to the title in May 1968. He scored 16 goals that term – including the decisive goal in the 4-3 win over Newcastle on the final day of the season. He would also go on to win the FA Cup a year later and the League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970 in a period laden with City silverware. Lee left Manchester City in 1974, joining Derby County.
6. Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure played an instrumental role in Manchester City’s success post takeover by the Arab owners.. He spent the majority of his career as a box-to-box midfielder for club and country, where he was regarded as one of the world’s best players in his position.
He scored some important goals for Manchester City, including the goal to take City to the 2011 FA Cup final against rivals United in the semi-finals. He then scored the winner in the final against Stoke City, securing City’s first trophy since 1976. He was vital in winning two Premier League titles and 2 League Cups, most notably in the penultimate match of the 2011–12 season against Newcastle United where Touré scored two late goals to win the match, and put Manchester City at the top of the league.
He was included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for 2011–12 and 2013–14. He was also voted African Footballer of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
[nextpage title=”2″ ]
5. Frank Swift
Swift was a one-club man who spent his entire professional career between the posts for Manchester City, apart from wartime guest appearances elsewhere. In his debut season, Swift was a key member of the team that made it all the way to the 1934 FA Cup final. City had lost the previous year’s final to Everton, and the relatively inexperienced Swift was a quite nervous before the final against Portsmouth.
Septimus Rutherford put Pompey ahead on 27 minutes with a goal for which the young Swift blamed himself. But at half-time he was consoled by City’s centre-forward Fred Tilson, who promised the young keeper he’d score two. Tilson kept his promise and scored two goals. When the final whistle sounded, Swift was so overcome by the release of tension that he fainted beneath his crossbar and had to revived to collect his winners’ medal from George V.
Apart from the FA Cup he also won the First and Second Division titles with City. Tragically Swift’s life was cut prematurely short by the Munich Air Disaster, whilst covering the game as a journalist for News of the World.
4. David Silva
Silva is one of the most underrated footballers in the world. The Spaniard arrived as a World Cup winner in 2010 and has lived up to that billing, helping to lift his team-mates to new heights by setting the tempo and carving open opportunities from nothing.
Since his arrival, he has created many chances for his teammates and has an unparallel vision and passing sense. Since joining City, Silva has appeared in over 400 matches and is heading towards his tenth and last season with the Club.
He has won the FA Cup, two Football League Cups and two Premier League titles. He was voted Manchester City player of the season for 2016-17. Nicknamed Merlin by City fans, Silva’s enduring popularity, as well as his unquestionable on-pitch achievements, ensure his place in the top four in greatest Manchester City players ever.
3. Bert Trautmann
Bert Trautmann will be forever remembered by City supporters for bravely playing for 17 minutes during the 1956 FA Cup Final victory over Birmingham City with a broken neck.He was able to collect his winner’s medal. He was also the first German to play in an FA Cup final at Wembley.
Trautmann, a former prisoner of war, helped heal relations between England and Germany in the wake of the Second World War and was voted England’s Player of the Year in 1956.
Trautman served with the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, and was captured by British forces towards the end of the conflict and transferred to a prisoner-of-war camp in Lancashire. City’s decision to sign an ex-German paratrooper in 1949 sparked mass protests but over time Trautman’s performances won the City fans over. He firmly established himself in City folklore over the course of time.
The legendary Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin, himself considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, believed that Trautmann and himself were the “only … two world-class goalkeepers”.
[nextpage title=”3″ ]
2. Colin Bell
Dubbed ‘The King’ and worthy of having a stand at the Etihad Stadium named after him, Colin Bell is regarded as one of the best players – if not the best player – to have donned the sky blue shirt.
Colin Bell is the first name that comes to our mind when we talk about Manchester City legends. He joined the club from Bury in 1966 after being watched by Assistant Manager Malcolm Allison on a number of occasions. Bell joined the second division’s Manchester City in 1966 and helped the Maine Road outfit to promotion in the same year.
In 1968, he helped City win their second League Championship. In the same year Bell also won his first England cap against Sweden, where he was instrumental in a 3–1 victory. Bell featured in three cup finals with City at the national stadium, emerging victorious in the 1969 FA Cup clash against Leicester and 1970 League Cup encounter with West Brom.
He also found the net in the 1974 League Cup final but somehow ended up on the losing side against Wolves. Due to injury, he missed the 1976 League Cup final triumph. In 1975, at the age of 29, Bell severely injured his right knee against Manchester United in a challenge with Martin Buchan during a League Cup match at Maine Road. He attempted a return in 1977, but called time on his career in 1979.
1. Sergio Aguero
Its hardly surprising that the No.1 spot in our list of ‘greatest Manchester City players ever’ goes to Sergio Aguero. Manchester City’s record goalscorer, Aguero arrived in the summer of 2011, scored two fine goals on his debut and, in the most dramatic of circumstances and with the final kick of the season, secured the club’s first title in 44 years. City might build a statue of that moment outside Etihad someday.
A prolific goalscorer, Agüero’s playing style is characterised by agility, acceleration and strength. Combined with his close control, quick feet, dribbling skills, and strength to keep the ball, he has been described as “a menace in the box”.
So often this man comes to rescue City in times of trouble, his goals have helped elevate the club to new heights and their current standing in the game is largely owed to Sergio Aguero. It will be a sad day for the club when he leaves City of Manchester.
Checkout: Greatest Manchester City XI