7 Of The Best Players To Ever Play For Man City
Welcome to the countdown of the seven best players to play for Manchester City, featuring the new and the old of City.
7: Billy Meredith
393 appearances, 152 goals
Often dubbed "Football's first superstar", Meredith enjoyed a remarkable career. He had two spells at City and played his final game for the club aged 49. Sadly his legacy is somewhat tainted by a conviction for bribery (which led to him being banned for 18 months) and, more heinously, a spell at Old Trafford, but his achievements cannot be underestimated. A proud Union man, he fought continuously against the exploitation of footballers in the early part of the Century.
6: Francis Lee
340 appearances, 144 goals
Although his legacy has been somewhat tainted by his disastrous tenure as Chairman in the mid-90s, Lee was an integral part of City's most successful ever team. Fans admired his strength and tenacity, and he had an uncanny knack of "winning" penalties and converting them (earning him the nickname Lee One Pen). He had balls too, famously going toe to toe with Norman Hunter whilst playing for Derby County.
5: Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero has become Manchester City's greatest ever goal scorer, and he is still the best striker in the Premier League too - just.
He is a world-class finisher but part of what makes him so special is his consistency - he has been scoring at an incredible rate for City for more than six seasons now, not just two or three, and even Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku have not managed that yet.
Aguero's goal against Napoli earlier in the season saw him surpass Eric Brook's total of 177 goals in all competitions for City and become his club's top scorer with 178.
He also provided the greatest moment in Premier League history with the "Balotelli/Agueroooooooo" moment.
4: Alan Oakes
682 appearances, 34 goals
Oakes was the consummate professional, both on and off the field. A conscientious trainer and a model of consistency, he spent 17 years at the club and holds the record number of appearances for the Blues. He is the also the most decorated player in City's history, winning the League Championship, ECWC, FA Cup, two league cups and the Second Division Championship.
3: Bert Trautman
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 in the 1956 FA Cup final, when he broke his neck fifteen minutes from full time. Incredibly, he continued playing and was able to collect his winner's medal.
2: David Silva
This is what Pep Guardiola had to say about Silva:
“What I like the most with David (Silva) is that he’s a guy who can be a little serious in life and a little shy, but to see - as a more technical player in the league - how competitive and aggressive he is when he’s usually more about technique and passes.
“I admire him – I admire him a lot because he’s perfect for, for example, Spanish football and in that situation.
“But he’s quick, his speed, and playing in this weather – in the wind and tough conditions.”
Doing what Silva does, and does with such graceful brilliance, is far from easy in La Liga. To do it in English football’s top flight, and all that entails, is something altogether different but Silva is the antidote to panic, a blissful oasis of calm amid the fire and fury and Guardiola loves him for it. To him, Silva’s courage on the field is courage in its purest and most important form.
The Greatest Man City Player Ever: Colin Bell
(500 appearances, 155 goals)
You would be hard pushed to find a City fan willing to argue against the King of the Kippax's selection as their greatest player of all time.
Of the stars of Manchester City's most successful era in the late 60s and early 70s, Bell shone the brightest. The midfield maestro was nicknamed 'Nijinsky' due to his majestic athleticism, and scored in the coveted one in three games ratio in his 500 appearances.
Bell's unequivocal success as a City legend is even more remarkable considering his career was curtailed by a knee sustained when he was 29.
Put simply by a fellow County Durham midfielder, Bobby Charlton insisted City's reluctant hero was “unquestionably a great player.”
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