We rank Man City’s best ever players from 1949 to present.
Last Updated: 20/06/23 at 12:08
Manchester City’s history of success first dates back to the mid-20th century, when the club experienced its first high period.
It then took a number of years to climb back to those levels, but now they find themselves higher than they have ever been.
With their past and present, there are a number of Man City legends, and here we have listed nine of them.
1949-1964 | Apps: 545 | Goals: 0 | Major honours: 1
Bert Trautmann lived a life that seems like it was ripped straight from a Hollywood script.
After joining Man City in 1949, The German goalkeeper spent 15 seasons with the club, winning over the hearts and minds of the City faithful with his heroic performances and calm, unwavering demeanour.
Famously, in the 1956 FA Cup Final, Trautmann played the final 15 minutes with a broken neck, as the Citizens ran out 3-1 winners.
This was his only major honour during his City career, but what a way to earn it.
1965-1975 | Apps: 449 | Goals: 67 | Major honours: 6
Man City bought Mike Summerbee from Swindon Town for £35,000 in 1965. He went on to make 449 appearances for the club.
As a goal-scoring right winger, Summerbee presented a constant threat to opponents; in 1967-68, he scored in Man City’s thrilling 4-3 win over Newcastle United, a match that clinched the First Division - their first title victory since 1937 and their last until 2011.
Summerbee was part of the iconic Bell-Lee-Summerbee trio - nicknamed ‘The Holy Trinity' - that fronted the Man City attack in the late 1960s and 1970s and massively contributed to their success during those years, and easily earned all three a place on the Manchester City legends list.
1966-1979 | Apps: 498 | Goals: 153 | Major honours: 5
The second piece of the Bell-Lee-Summerbee trio, Colin Bell moved to City in 1966 from Bury and helped City earn promotion to the First Division in his first year.
Bell had made a name for himself at Bury, but he made sure the English game would remember his name with his strong tenure with City.
In 1968, he helped the Sky Blues win their second First Division title, 31 years after their first title.
Unfortunately, in 1975 at age 29, he suffered a very serious right knee injury against Manchester United that brought about the end of his playing career.
While he would continue to stay on with City until 1979, - he then moved to the San Jose Earthquakes in the then North American Soccer League but only played five games - he never quite recaptured that special touch he possessed in his prime.
His legacy now lives on in the form of The Colin Bell Stand at Man City’s Etihad Stadium.
1967-1974 | Apps: 330 | Goals: 148 | Major honours: 6
Signed for a club record transfer fee of £60,000 in 1967, Francis Lee was part of the title-winning side of 1967/68 and the final piece of the Bell-Lee-Summerbee Holy Trinity.
Two seasons later, Lee was Man City’s top scorer which included a penalty in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Penalties were essentially Lee's USP - he has the English record for most penalties scored in a season, with 15 goals from his 35-goal tally for the campaign coming from the spot.
He is an inductee into the infamous English Football Hall of Fame, having been admitted to the hall in 2010.
2008-2019 | Apps: 360 | Goals: 20 | Major honours: 12
Vincent Kompany moved to City at the age of 22 and in his 11 seasons of service, he became a club legend, lifting four Premier League titles in his time as Man City captain.
As a defender, he wasn’t one for scoring many goals. However, his 30-yard wonder strike in a 1-0 win against Leicester, scored in the penultimate game of the season, which was his last season with the club, meant that City stayed on track to become the 2018-19 season Premier League champions.
There is no doubt that Kompany has a place on the Manchester City legends list, and there could even be a strong case that he belongs in the top 10 of the best Premier League Players of all time.
2010-2018 | Apps: 292 | Goals: 81 | Major honours: 8
Yaya Toure quickly became a fan favourite after helping City win their first league title in 44 years during the 2011-12 season. But he didn’t stop with one, and finished as a three-time Premier League champion before moving on in 2018.
The four-time African Player of the Year scored 81 goals in an eight-year spell, enjoying his best goal-scoring season in 2013-14 with 24 goals.
Toure is fondly remembered for his strong style of play and exquisite passing ability. Sitting in the heart of the midfield, he was capable of getting back and helping on defence as well as pushing forward and contributing to the attack.
2010-2020 | Apps: 436 | Goals: 77 | Major honours: 14
After joining City in 2010, David Silva played 436 times for the Sky Blues, winning two FA Cups, five League Cups and four Premier League titles.
Nicknamed “Merlin” for his masterful forward play, Silva was a stalwart of the Man City attack, and one of the finest players in Premier League history.
In fact, many would even go on to say that he is one of the greatest midfielders of his generation.
He holds the record for being the youngest player to reach 200 wins in Premier League history, a record he took from Chelsea legend John Terry.
2011-2021 | Apps: 390 | Goals: 260 | Major honours: 15
Following his £35 million move to City from Atletico Madrid, Aguero didn’t take long to make his mark on the Premier League.
On the final day of his debut season, Aguero scored a last-minute goal against QPR to beat bitter rivals Man Utd to title for the first time in 44 years in one of the greatest Premier League moments of all time.
A prolific goalscorer and all-round club and league legend, Aguero is City’s leading goalscorer of all time with 260 goals, as well as their most decorated player of all time with 15 major honours.
For everything he achieved with the team, many call Sergio Aguero the best Man City player of all time, and is also put in most people's top five best Premier League players of all time.
Kevin De Bruyne
2015-Present | Apps: 307 | Goals: 86 | Major honours: 11
After elevating his star power in the German Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, Kevin De Bruyne moved to Man City in the summer of 2015 for a club record fee of £54 million.
Ever since, the Belgian has established himself as one of the best football players in the world, and even one of the best players of his generation.
He has played a significant role in City’s dominance over the last six years, winning the Premier League Player of the Season award twice, and celebrating Man City's latest Premier League title in 2023.
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