90min's Definitive A to Z of Manchester City

​Fun fact - Manchester City didn't actually exist until 2008.

Sorry, that's a lie, definitely not from a Manchester United fan. But all jokes aside, City do have a history that stretches back long before their takeover in 2008, and it's a pretty interesting one at that.

Before Sergio Aguero, David Silva and all that Premier League silverware, City fans had the pleasure of watching Stephen Ireland patrol their midfield, while youth prospect Michael Johnson was preparing to become Manchester's answer to Lionel Messi. No prizes for guessing how that one turned out.

With all that considered, let's break down City's history by summarising the club from A to Z. 

A is for Aguero(ooooo!)

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Se

Without question one of the greatest strikers to ever grace the Premier League, Sergio Aguero became a City legend in his debut season with the club when he scored the goal that gifted them their first league title in 44 years.

That commentary still haunts United fans to this day.

B is for Bert Trautmann


After signing with City in 1949, Bert Trautmann sparked protests attended by thousands as it emerged that City had brought in a goalkeeper who was a paratrooper in the Luftwaffe in the Second World War and had received an Iron Cross.

Trautmann would eventually win over the City faithful and went on to make a staggering 545 appearances for the club, being pivotal in their 1956 FA Cup win, which he played with a broken neck.

Eat your heart out, Kurt Angle.

C is for Colin Bell

Considered one of City's greatest ever players, Colin Bell became a club legend during the 1960s and 70s. He was part of the squad that would see a mixture of relegation and promotion, as well as a First Division title win.

Known as part of a trio alongside fellow legends Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee, Bell transcends City and will forever be regarded as one of England's greatest midfielders. His legacy remains and is honoured with a stand at the Etihad named after him.

D is for Dedryck Boyata

Manchester City's Belgium defender Dedry

This one is a simple one. Boyata gets in because of that chant. Are you ready?


Boyata Boyata, Boyata Boyata!

Not the greatest defender to ever lace up a pair of boots at City, it's fair to say. And it's a shame that the chant didn't follow him to Celtic, but the Citizens can always look back fondly on the great time they had singing that one.

E is for Edin Dzeko

Similarly to Aguero, although not quite up to the same level, Edin Dzeko wrote his name in the City history books when he grabbed the equaliser in the game against QPR in the 2011/12 season.

That stoppage-time equaliser ultimately led to Aguero's winner, which City fans will never forget. After a few decent seasons with the club, which included scoring four goals in one game against Tottenham, Dzeko now plays his football for Roma.

Not bad.

F is for Phil Foden

Phil Foden

Phil Phoden? Fil Foden? Anyway, we've looked at the past, so let's now look at the future. 19-year-old Foden is seemingly the only player who will ever escape City's academy and make it into the first team.

Foden is a top-class talent. While slowly forcing his way into City's starting XI as an assured attacking midfielder, Foden has received rave reviews from his boss Pep Guardiola, who called him the 'most talented player' he has ever seen.

Justice for Ibrahim Affelay!

G is for Shaun Goater

'Feed The Goat And He Will Score.'

Not my words, the words of a farmer who's having a hard time getting his animals to eat, and the words of City fans between 1998 and 2003, as Shaun Goater finished as the club's top scorer four seasons in a row, ending with over 100 goals in all competitions.

Goater was a bright spark in a dark period for City and helped them to promotion back to the Premier League on two occasions.

H is for Steph Houghton

Captain of both City and England's women sides, Steph Houghton has been a cornerstone of City Women's success since joining in 2014.

Houghton received an MBE in 2016 for her services to football, which tells you all you need to know about her ability and her efforts in putting the women's game on the map.

I is for Stephen Ireland

Stephen Ireland

Perhaps we should've given H to Stephen Ireland as well, because the most shocking thing to consider when you think of Stephen Ireland is the fact that he once had a full head of hair.

Look at it. There are no words.

He was also a key player for City in midfield just before their late 2000s takeover, but that's not as interesting.

J is for Joe Hart


Making just shy of 350 appearances in all competitions for City, Joe Hart was an ever-present and a fan favourite in the side throughout the 2010s, before eventually being ousted by Pep Guardiola in 2016.

Fun fact - Joe Hart's first name is actually Charles. Who knew? 

We'll ignore that for the sake of this list though. Obviously. 

K is for Georgi Kinkladze

Signing for City in 1995, Georgi Kinkladze quickly became a fan favourite at Maine Road in a time of decline at the club.

Perhaps somewhat ahead of his time, Kinkladze was a tricky number ten and his expert dribbling, combined with his ability to only score worldies, saw him win the club's player of the year award two seasons on the bounce.

He actually stayed with City after their relegation in 1996 but eventually left for Dutch champions Ajax.

L is for League Cup

Whatever sponsor has naming rights at the time (barkeep! A pint of your finest Carabao!) this trophy will always be known as the League Cup to the fans, and City supporters have some fond memories.

City sealed their fifth League Cup in seven years earlier in March, a properly commendable record which takes half an ounce of pressure off cup finals later in the season. Their latest success came when they edged out Aston Villa in a 2-1 victory, their third season in a row hoisting the cup. 

M is for Maine Road

Maine Road

Before the success seen at the Etihad Stadium, City played their home games at Maine Road in Moss Side. In Manchester. Obviously. 

The 35,000 capacity stadium was demolished in 2003, but City fans still share fond memories of the ground which had been theirs since before the Second World War. It had seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.

Another fun bit of trivia for you - noisy neighbours United actually spent some time playing in Maine Road after the Second World War, as Old Trafford was damaged during the Manchester Blitz.

N is for Alvaro Negredo

Dubbed 'The Beast' by many, Alvaro Negredo quickly put the world on watch when he signed for the Citizens in 2013, forging a menacing partnership with ​Sergio Aguero and bagging 19 goals in his first 20 games.

However, injuries would quickly get the best of him and Negredo wouldn't actually score again for City after January 2014 – although he still finished with a more than respectable 23 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions.

He spent just the one season playing his football at the Etihad, but is still remembered fondly by fans.

O is for Alan Oakes

Holding the record for the most appearances ever in a ​City shirt (with a staggering 680) midfielder Alan Oakes is at the top of the tree in City's history books.

Starting as an amateur aged 15 in 1958, Oakes was tasked with cleaning the boots of a certain Bert Trautmann and would eventually turn professional for the club a year later. 

Collecting a plethora of trophies including a European Cup Winners' Cup, an FA Cup and a First Division title, Oakes had seen it all and garnered a reputation for being one of the greatest professionals in the game.

P is for Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

For many Blues, mostly the older lot, the idea that Pep Guardiola - one of football's ​greatest ever managers - would eventually come to City and break records while storming to silverware was simply a dream at best.

That dream would become reality in 2016, when he took the reins from an outgoing Manuel Pellegrini and took an already good City side and moved them into the European elite - despite not winning a Champions League (yet). 

So far, Pep has guided City to two Premier League titles in record-breaking fashion, as well as an FA Cup and three consecutive League Cups. Not bad, that.

Q is for Quadruple...ish

In the 2018/19 season, Pep Guardiola's City side swept up in all English competitions, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Community Shield - the quadruple was theirs, right?

Not quite. 

City were still in the race for all four major competitions right up until April 2019, when they were edged out of the Champions League on away goals in their quarter final against ​Tottenham. But, if you count the Community Shield, City did technically win four trophies in that season, so it counts here!

R is for Robinho 

Manchester City's Brazilian forward Robi

2008 was a wild time - on the same day that a takeover deal was completed by the Abu Dhabi Group to purchase City, the club also completed the last-minute signing of Robinho for a then-club record fee, edging out Chelsea for his signature.

Surrounded by fellow Brazilians Jo and Elano, Robinho enjoyed a successful debut season with the club but couldn't follow it up in the second campaign.

Within three years, Robinho would go from playing at Real Madrid, to City, then back to Santos in Brazil. 

S is for David Silva

David Silva,Martin Kelly

While a few legends from a different era have made their way into this list earlier on, it's time to pull it back to the present day and talk about ​David Silva, who has already established himself in City folklore.

Perhaps the Daniel Bryan of the football world, Silva's technical prowess has always been evident, but he finally began to make a name for himself on the big stage when he moved to the Citizens in 2010 – the difference between the two being that one makes a living in trunks and the other's often in a wrestling ring. Eh? EH? 

Due to leave City at the end of the 2019/20 season, 'El Mago' has become a club and Premier League legend; his passing ability and footwork is mesmerising, and he is considered by many Blues as the club's greatest ever player.

T is for Carlos Tevez

Argentinian footballer Carlos Tevez pose

After two ecstatic years on the red side of Manchester, striker Carlos Tevez made a shock switch to City ahead of the 2009/10 season. Despite a love/hate relationship with the club, Tevez was once again prolific at City and was a big success in front of goal.

City fans will most fondly remember that billboard in the centre of Manchester, which read 'Welcome to Manchester' and pictured Tevez behind a sky blue backdrop.

U is for Umbro

While Umbro hasn't been the first brand on everybody's lips when listing their favourite kit suppliers in recent years, they've had a long history with City.

Umbro supplied a number of shirts for City throughout the '80s and some of the '90s, all of which have aged fantastically, but they returned to the club in 2009 and created some fairly iconic kits. 

The brand, based in Manchester, are now synonymous with the early days of City's takeover.

V is for Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany

How could it not be? 

If David Silva is City's greatest player ever, then Vincent Kompany has to be their greatest captain ever. A young Kompany joined in 2008 as a midfielder, but would mould into a centre-back and become a cornerstone of the club's recent success.

After 11 years with the club, Kompany left to return to native club Anderlecht, where he serves as captain, after a stint as player-manager.

W is for Nicky Weaver

Serving 10 years with the club and overseeing three promotions in his time, goalkeeper Nicky Weaver was instrumental in City's return to the top flight in 1999.

He saved the decisive penalty in the '99 playoff final at Wembley, and sent City back to the Premier League. While he would eventually lose the number one spot, Weaver remained a great servant to the club throughout his tenure, being called upon when they needed him most.

X is for Dsquared2 X Manchester City

Are we reaching a little bit here? Maybe.

Were Dsquared2 reaching when they got Manchester City to dress up like they did ahead of the 2018/19 season? Absolutely.


Y is for Yaya Toure


When Yaya Toure signed for City from Barcelona in 2010, not only did it show City's growing power in the changing climate of football, but it also gave fans the chance to chant for him and his brother Kolo in unison, in a song that now lives deep in football culture.

Yaya enjoyed a largely successful time at City, including the 2013/14 season where he was arguably the best midfielder in the world for the year. His one blip in his time in Manchester however, was when his agent revealed that he had become unhappy with the club as they hadn't wished him a happy birthday.

Shame on you, City.

Z is for Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta

Serving nine years with City from 2008 to 2017, Pablo Zabaleta became a cult hero at the club. 

A solid full-back complete with passion and leadership qualities, Zabaleta captained the club on various occasions and is one of few to win all of English football's major honours at City. 

Upon his 2017 departure, City gifted Zabaleta with a lifetime season ticket. How thoughtful. Hopefully he got a 'happy birthday' too.

Source : 90min