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Top 10 Best Manchester City Players of All Time

Top 10 Best Manchester City Players of All Time

Manchester City is a professional soccer team based in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880, Manchester City is one of the Premier League’s top teams and can credit their success in recent years to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan who purchased the controlling share of the club in 2008. Manchester City’s overall roster boasts hundreds of players that have helped the team keep its dominating position in the Premier League. Here are the top ten best Manchester City players of all time.

Who Are the Best Manchester City Soccer Players of All Time?

  1. Sergio Agüero
  2. David Silva
  3. Vincent Kompany
  4. Yaya Touré
  5. Colin Bell
  6. Joe Hart
  7. Tony Book
  8. Kevin De Bruyne
  9. Bert Trautmann
  10. Shaun Goater

1. Sergio Agüero

  • Five-time Premier League champion
  • FA Cup champion (2019) and runner-up (2013)
  • Six-time Football League/EFL Cup champion

Sergio Agüero is considered one of Manchester City’s best strikers. His career with City began in 2011 and spanned ten years until 2021 when he was traded. Agüero made 390 appearances for City and scored 260 goals which make him City’s all-time leading scorer. He has also played a vital role in City’s success during those years, winning five Premier League titles and winning the FA Cup in 2019. With Agüero at the top, City won the EFL Cup six times.

Agüero won many individual accolades while playing for City. He won the Premier League’s Golden Boot in 2015. He won Premier League Player of the Month seven times. Agüero is also known for his hat tricks, holding the Premier League record with 12 hat tricks over his career. Agüero scored the fastest goal in Premier League history during a match against Newcastle United, scoring just 24 seconds after kick-off. Not only is Agüero remembered for his prolific goal-scoring, but he is also remembered for his ability to create goal-scoring opportunities and provide assists.

2. David Silva

  • Four-time Premier League champion
  • Two-time FA Cup champion
  • Five-time Football League/EFL Cup champion

David Silva played for Manchester City for 10 years, and in that time he became one of the best midfielders in the club’s history. He made 436 appearances and scored 77 goals, an impressive feat for a midfielder. What cements Silva’s place on this list is the number of accolades Manchester City collected while he played for them; they won the Premier League five times and the FA Cup twice.

Silva was known for his ability to provide assists. Over his career, he provided 93 assists to his teammates. Furthermore, Silva won many individual awards, such as being named to the PFA Team of the Year many times and winning the Manchester City Player of the Year award in 2012. Silva’s assisting ability came in handy for the UEFA Champions League in the 2015-2016 season, when he helped the team reach the semifinals, and again in the 2019-2020 season when City reached the finals. Silva’s ability to control the tempo of the game dubs him the conductor in the memories of City fans everywhere.

3. Vincent Kompany

  • Four-time Premier League champion
  • Two-time FA Cup champion
  • Four-time EFL Cup champion

Vincent Kompany’s reputation centered around respect. As a defender, he often played a pivotal role in stopping attacks before they turned into goals. Under Kompany, City’s defense grew stronger. He made 360 appearances, and despite being a defender, he knew how to score important goals and managed to score 20 for the club. With Kompany fortifying the back line, City earned four Premier League titles and four EFL Cups. Starting in the 2011-2012 season, he served as captain of the team and led City to a Premier League title.

Kompany’s leadership ability and City’s success saw him winning many individual awards. These accolades include being named to the PFA Team of the Year several times and winning the Premier League Player of the Season award in 2012. Kompany’s reputation for scoring goals at crucial moments came from a notable moment when he scored a long-range goal that helped City win the League. Kompany is remembered as one of the best defenders in the club’s history.

4. Yaya Touré

  • Three-time Premier League champion
  • FA Cup champion (2011) and runner-up (2013)
  • Two-time Football League Cup champion

Yaya Touré is another impressive Manchester City midfielder. He appeared 316 times for City. One of the most memorable qualities of Touré’s playing style is that he had a knack for scoring from midfield. He scored 79 goals for the club. Having a player who can score from midfield made City a dangerous team to face, and they won three Premier League titles, and one FA Cup title, and were the FA Cup runner-up in 2013. City’s 2011-2012 season Premier League title, Touré’s second season with the club, was City’s first title in 44 years.

Another incredible aspect of Touré’s style of play is his ability to make assists; he provided 50 assists for City. He also earned many individual accolades, including being named to the PFA Team of the Year and winning the African Footballer of the Year award many times. Touré played for City until 2018 when he left the club, but his stats while at City prove that he is one of the team’s best midfielders of all time.

5. Colin Bell

  • Football League First Division champion (1968)
  • Football League Second Division champion (1966)
  • FA Cup champion (1969)

Colin Bell is one of City’s truly remarkable players. His career with City spanned 13 years; he made a total of 394 appearances with the team and scored 153 goals from the midfield, which is an impressive accomplishment. With Bell on the team, City won the First Division title in 1968, the FA Cup in the 1968-1969 season, and the League Cup twice, once in the 1969-1970 season and once in the 1975-1976 season.

City fans dubbed Bell “The King of Kippax,” a nickname referring to the section of the audience where only hardcore fans sit. Bell’s influence on the team was shown through the many Manchester City Player of the Year awards he won. Bell’s dedication to City was widely known, and he remained at City until the 1975 League Cup against Manchester United when he injured his knee. Bell wouldn’t go quietly; however, he continued to return to City despite his injuries. Finally, in 1979, he retired, leaving behind the aggressive and dazzling style of play that City remains famous for.

6. Joe Hart

  • Two-time Premier League champion
  • FA Cup champion (2010) and runner-up (2013)
  • Two-time Football League Cup champion

Joe Hart is considered one of the best goalkeepers in Manchester City’s history. Hart joined City in 2006 and stayed on the team until 2018. He made a total of 348 appearances and kept 154 clean sheets. With Hart in goal, City won two Premier League titles, became 2010 FA Cup champions and runners-up in 2013, and won the Football League Cup twice. He won many individual awards, including the Golden Glove Award, which he won many times.

While at City, Hart was briefly loaned to Birmingham City. One of his most memorable moments with City took place in a game against FC Barcelona. City was two points down, and Lionel Messi was set to take a penalty which Hart knocked out of the goal, effectively preventing Messi from scoring. Despite staying on until 2018, his last official game with City was in 2016. City was a dominating force at this time, and much of that can be credited to Hart’s talent in the net.

7. Tony Book

  • European Cup Winners’ Cup (1970)
  • First Division champions (1968)
  • FA Cup winner (1969)

If anyone on the list bled sky blue and white, it was Tony Book. He served City as both a player and a coach and excelled at both. He made 467 appearances and scored 36 goals, a high number for a defender. The book played a large part in City’s rise to dominance in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The club won the First Division title in 1970, the FA Cup in 1969, and the League Cup in 1970, all with Book in goal.

The book also earned a few individual accolades, including FWA Footballer of the Year in 1969. He was known for his leadership and served as the team’s captain from 1967 until the end of his run. After winning many awards as a player, Book returned to City after his retirement to coach and led the team to a few championships, including the Football League Cup title in 1976. Book is remembered for bringing City to its height and helping them hold steady with the kind of dedication that only the very best have.

8. Kevin De Bruyne

  • Four-time Premier League champion
  • FA Cup champion (2019)
  • Five-time EFL Cup champion

Kevin De Bruyne has been a large part of Manchester City’s continued dominance in the Premier League. As of 2023, he has made 352 appearances and scored 96 goals. De Bruyne is also known for his ability to create scoring opportunities and was the fastest to ever reach 100 assists, earning them throughout 237 games. His creativity on the field has contributed to City winning several championships, including four Premier League titles, the 2019 FA Cup title, and five EFL Cup titles.

De Bruyne also won several individual awards, which include being named the Manchester City Player of the Season four times and being named the PFA Player of the Year twice. He holds club records, including the most assists in a single season (alongside Thierry Henry) with 20 in the 2019-2020 season. De Bruyne is also known for his long-range accuracy and often scores many goals from outside the penalty box. De Bruyne is one of the best midfielders in the history of the club and continues to control the field with his assists and goal-scoring.

9. Bert Trautmann

  • FA Cup champion (1956)
  • FWA Footballer of the Year
  • English Football Hall of Fame inductee

Bert Trautmann was a Manchester City goalkeeper from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Before playing for City, Trautmann was a paratrooper in the Luftwaffe during World War II and was captured by the British towards the end of the war. After being released by the British, he stayed in England and began playing soccer for a small-town team. City signed Trautmann despite the anti-German sentiment in the country, and City fans were glad they did.

Trautmann played with City for 15 years and made 545 appearances for the club. He helped City win the FA Cup in 1956 while also winning individual awards such as the FWA Footballer of the Year award. City’s FA Cup win is also one of Trautmann’s defining moments as a player. Despite City having a 3-1 lead, Trautmann dove at the feet of an approaching player and stopped the play, breaking his neck in the process. He continued to play and only realized how severe the injury was later. Trautmann earned his place on this list by leaving his blood, sweat, and tears on the pitch.

10. Shaun Goater

  • Football League Second Division playoffs (1999)
  • Football League First Division champion (2002)
  • Football League First Division top scorer (2002)

Shaun Goater was a striker for Manchester City from 1998 to 2003 and was quite successful. He made 212 appearances and scored 103 goals making him the 12th-highest scorer in the club’s history. Goater was instrumental in City’s move from the Second Division to the First Division. Goater won the Manchester City Player of the Year award in 1999 and was named to the PFA Team of the Year that same year.

City fans adored Goater and often chanted, “Feed the Goat, and he will score” when he had the ball. Goater was City’s top goalscorer four seasons in a row, and in 2002, Goater became the first player since 1972 to score more than 30 goals in a single season. Goater’s most memorable moment was a hat-trick he scored against Manchester United, clinching the 3-1 victory for City in the 2002-2003 season. Goater is remembered for his goal-scoring flare on the pitch and positivity off the pitch.

Honorable Mentions

  • Peter Doherty
  • Mike Doyle
  • Fernandinho
  • Tommy Johnson
  • Francis Lee
  • Alan Oakes
  • Glyn Pardoe
  • Mike Summerbee
  • Frank Swift
  • Dennis Tueart