Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

The Greatest Manchester City Players of All Time

Manchester City

Despite Manchester City being recognized as one of the most successful teams in English soccer in recent years, some people still perceive them as lacking historical significance. However, this claim is far from accurate. The “Citizens” have a rich and storied past, featuring numerous exceptional players. In this article, we will take a trip to the blue side of Manchester and explore the 25 greatest Manchester City players of all time. The Blue Moon has always been shining, and we are here to shed light on its brightest stars.

25. Tommy Booth

![Tommy Booth](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Centre-Back

Before the glory days of the 2010s, Manchester City enjoyed a period of success during the late 1960s and early 70s. One of the key figures during this time was central defender Tommy Booth. Graduating from the club’s youth academy, Booth became a mainstay in the first team from 1967 to 1981. Though often described as an “unsung hero” by Manchester City fans, Booth’s 400+ appearances for the club firmly establish his place in its history.

24. Fred Tilson

Fred Tilson

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Yorkshire-born forward Fred Tilson occupies the 24th spot on our list. Having played for the club between 1928 and 1938, Tilson showcased his talents during Manchester City’s early years. With 132 goals in 276 appearances, Tilson’s goal-scoring record is one of the most impressive in this list. He was a key member of the First Division and FA Cup-winning sides from the 1930s. Tilson’s legacy even extends to having a street named after him in the Moss Side area of Manchester.

23. Billy Meredith

Billy Meredith

  • Position: Forward

Billy Meredith, more commonly associated with the red half of Manchester, also made a significant impact during his two spells at Manchester City. Having played a total of 394 matches for the club, Meredith’s contributions cannot be overlooked. Despite his time with City predating the modern era, his goal tally of 152 speaks to his impressive abilities.

22. Joe Hart

  • Position: Goalkeeper

In 22nd place, we have Joe Hart, widely regarded as the best Manchester City goalkeeper in the 21st century. After making his mark at Shrewsbury Town, Hart joined City in 2006. While it took some time for him to establish himself in the first team, his contributions eventually became vital to the club’s success. With 348 appearances and a plethora of trophies, including five Premier League titles, Hart solidified his position as a key player before moving on to Celtic.

21. Dennis Tueart

![Dennis Tueart](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Left-Winger

Left-sided winger Dennis Tueart claims the 21st spot on our list. Joining Manchester City in 1974 after a successful spell with Sunderland, Tueart is best remembered for his role in the 1976 League Cup Final victory. His memorable overhead kick remains one of the most revered cup final goals in the team’s history.

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20. Fernandinho

![Fernandinho](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Defensive Midfield

As we enter the top 20, Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernandinho takes his place. Joining Manchester City in 2013 after his successful stint with Shakhtar Donetsk, Fernandinho became an indispensable asset in the City midfield. His contributions were paramount in the club’s five Premier League titles. With 264 appearances and 20 goals during his nine years at the Etihad Stadium, Fernandinho’s impact cannot be overlooked.

19. Eric Brook

Eric Brook

  • Position: Left-Winger

Another standout player from Manchester City’s glorious 1930s era, Eric Brook was known for his deadly shots reminiscent of Roberto Carlos. Brook’s decade-long career with City saw him make 450 appearances and score an impressive 158 goals. His exceptional talent firmly establishes him as one of the club’s most exceptional players.

18. Pablo Zabaleta

![Pablo Zabaleta](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Right-Back

Argentinian right-back Pablo Zabaleta takes the 18th spot on our list. Initially brought in as cover, Zabaleta quickly proved his dominance in the position and spent nine years with the club. With 230 appearances and 9 goals, Zabaleta left an indelible mark before continuing his career at West Ham United.

17. Tommy Johnson

Tommy Johnson

  • Position: Centre-Forward

In 17th place, we have Tommy Johnson, a player renowned for scoring in Manchester City’s inaugural game at the legendary Maine Road Stadium. With 354 appearances and 166 goals, Johnson’s contributions were critical during his 11-year tenure. He even holds the record for the most league goals for City in a single season, with 38.

16. Frank Swift

Frank Swift

  • Position: Goalkeeper

One of English soccer’s finest pre-war goalkeepers, Frank Swift broke into the Manchester City team at the young age of 20. Known for his remarkable physique and hand size, Swift’s goalkeeping abilities were truly exceptional. With over 100 appearances during the wartime league, Swift’s potential could have been even greater if not for the interruption caused by World War II.

15. Mike Doyle

![Mike Doyle](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Centre-Back

Before Vincent Kompany, there was Mike Doyle, who claims the 15th spot on our list. Known for his outspoken nature, Doyle was an integral part of Manchester City’s greatest defense. With over 500 appearances for the club, Doyle’s loyalty and unwavering commitment endeared him to City fans.

14. Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure

  • Position: Central Midfield

One of the best midfielders of his generation, Yaya Toure secures the 14th place. Renowned for his strength and power, Toure’s tenacity made him a formidable opponent. Although he joined City in the latter stage of his career, Toure’s contributions were instrumental in their successful campaigns. Regardless of team allegiances, Toure is widely respected and loved worldwide.

13. Glyn Pardoe

![Glyn Pardoe](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Left-Back

Glyn Pardoe holds a significant record as the youngest player to start a game for Manchester City at just 15 years old. Initially used as a forward, Pardoe soon found his calling as a left-back. Throughout his 305 appearances, Pardoe showcased excellent ball control and an eye for goal, demonstrating his unwavering loyalty to the club.

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12. Tony Book

![Tony Book](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Right-Back

Tony Book made his debut for Manchester City at the age of 30, an age typically considered old for a new signing. However, Book quickly silenced any doubts and became a leader on and off the pitch. As the club’s captain, he won the inaugural Player of the Year award and even managed the team, securing the 1976 League Cup during his tenure.

11. Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Carlos Tevez attracted significant attention when he switched from red to blue. Despite the media frenzy surrounding his move, Tevez proved to be a valuable signing with nearly 30 goals in his first season alone. His contributions undoubtedly made an impact during his tenure at Manchester City.

10. Richard Dunne

![Richard Dunne](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Centre-Back

Richard Dunne holds the record for the most Premier League own goals of all time, but his value to Manchester City goes beyond that statistic. Known for his never-say-die attitude, Dunne consistently put his body on the line for the team. Despite being a subject of jokes among English fans, Dunne’s dedication earned him respect among Manchester City supporters.

9. Raheem Sterling

![Raheem Sterling](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Left-Winger

Raheem Sterling, now with Chelsea, claims the title of the 9th best Manchester City player of all time. Despite being underappreciated by some, Sterling has been a constant presence in the City team and played a crucial role in their numerous Premier League titles. With 339 appearances and 131 goals during his 7-year stint at the Etihad Stadium, Sterling’s impact on the team is undeniable.

8. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne

  • Position: Attacking Midfield

Considered one of the best midfielders in the world, Kevin De Bruyne’s talent positions him for even greater heights in the future. Despite initial skepticism from the English media, De Bruyne proved his worth after joining Manchester City in 2015. With 349 appearances and 95 goals, his range of passes and exceptional playmaking abilities have established him as a global star.

7. Mike Summerbee

![Mike Summerbee](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Right-Winger

Under legendary manager Joe Mercer, Mike Summerbee became one of England’s finest wingers. Known as “Buzzer” to fans worldwide, Summerbee’s 67 goals for Manchester City solidified his place among the club’s greats. His friendship with George Best and lavish lifestyle may have affected his career, but Summerbee’s talent remains undeniable.

6. Bert Trautmann

  • Position: Goalkeeper

German legend Bert Trautmann holds the 6th spot. Trautmann’s story is intrinsically linked to his time at Manchester City. As a former Axis paratrooper in World War II, Trautmann faced initial backlash upon joining the club in 1949. However, he soon won over the fans, making over 500 appearances for the club. Trautmann’s most famous moment came during the 1956 FA Cup Final when he played with a broken neck, ultimately securing the cup for City.

5. Vincent Kompany

  • Position: Centre-Back

Vincent Kompany, regarded as the greatest Belgian defender in history, becomes the 5th entry on our list. Known as “Captain Fantastic” to City fans, Kompany’s leadership and four Premier League titles cemented his legacy. Though the UEFA Champions League eluded him, his statue as the club’s greatest central defender stands proudly at the Etihad Stadium.

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4. Francis Lee

![Francis Lee](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Francis Lee, a stocky striker, was the final piece of Joe Mercer’s title-contending Manchester City team. Lee’s goals were pivotal during the 1970s, and he’s renowned for his exceptional penalty-taking abilities. With 35 goals and a total of 166 in one season, Lee secured his place among the greats.

3. David Silva

  • Position: Attacking Midfield

Silky Spanish midfielder David Silva earns the 3rd spot on our list. Alongside Vincent Kompany, Silva has a statue erected in his honor at the Etihad Stadium. Throughout his decade-long spell with the club, Silva provided mesmerizing assists and sublime goals. With 60 goals in 309 games, his impeccable playmaking abilities made him one of the finest attacking midfielders in history.

2. Colin Bell

![Colin Bell](embed from Getty Images)

  • Position: Attacking Midfield

Colin Bell, an English icon, claims the runner-up position. With his own stand named after him at the Etihad Stadium, Bell’s contributions to Manchester City are unparalleled. As an excellent goal-scoring midfielder, he notched over 150 goals in 501 appearances. His exceptional dribbling abilities remain a sight to behold.

1. Sergio Aguero

  • Position: Centre-Forward

The best Manchester City player of all time is undoubtedly Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian striker’s legendary status and record as one of the best Premier League strikers speak volumes. Aguero’s last-minute goal against QPR in 2012, securing the Premier League title, remains etched in the memories of fans. With a staggering 260 goals in 390 appearances, Aguero’s impact on Manchester City is immeasurable.


Q: Who is the best Manchester City player of all time?
A: Sergio Aguero is widely regarded as the best Manchester City player of all time, thanks to his exceptional goal-scoring record and legendary moments.

Q: How many Premier League titles has Manchester City won?
A: Manchester City has won multiple Premier League titles, with their recent success underlining their dominance in English soccer.

Q: Who is the greatest goalkeeper in Manchester City’s history?
A: Manchester City has had many great goalkeepers throughout its history, with Bert Trautmann and Frank Swift being particularly noteworthy for their remarkable skills and contributions to the club.

Q: Which player scored the famous last-minute goal against QPR in 2012?
A: Sergio Aguero famously scored the last-minute goal against QPR in 2012, securing the Premier League title for Manchester City in dramatic fashion.


Manchester City’s rich history is littered with exceptional players who have left an indelible mark on the club. From legendary figures like Sergio Aguero and Colin Bell to modern-day stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, these players have contributed to the club’s success and etched their names in Manchester City folklore. As the Blue Moon continues to rise, the legacy of these players will forever shine bright at the Etihad Stadium.