Best Manchester City Defenders of all time
In soccer, if a team wants to take the lead in all competitions and be considered successful, selecting the best ones for each position is of great importance. Football is indeed like chess if a team couldn't manage to define its territory the opponent would grab the field. Manchester City as one the most successful football club knows how to play football. All of its honors and trophies are proofs of this aforesaid fact.
All-time best Defenders at Manchester city
The focus of our following article is to select and review the best Manchester city defenders of all time, but it would be more exciting if we first take a brief look at the history and honors of this popular English team.
A Brief Review of History and Honors of Manchester City
The club was founded in 1880 under the name of St. Mark's (West Gorton) and then became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and later on its name changed to Manchester City in 1894.
Nine years after its establishment, City achieved their first honors by winning the Second Division in 1899; with it came promotion to the highest level in English football, the First Division.
Despite the team's strong start, financial problems soon shattered the team to the point that in the early years of its appearance in the First Division, they had to suspend seventeen players in 1906, including captain Billy Meredith, who subsequently moved across town to Manchester United.
But despite all the problems, the team followed its goals and continued its way. In 2008 everything changed and City backed on track all over again. In fact, Manchester City was purchased by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan-the owner of Abu Dhabi United Group- for £210 million and received considerable financial investment in both playing staff and club facilities, including the £150 million Etihad Campus in East Manchester. As Man City overcame the financial problems, it was proved that the sky's the limit for the Cityzens.
Honors of Manchester City
- Leagues :First Division / Premier League (Level 1)Winners (6): 1936–37, 1967–68, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2017–18, 2018 .Second Division / First Division / Championship (Level 2) Winners (7): 1898–99, 1902–03, 1909–10, 1927–28, 1946–47, 1965–66. Third Division / Second Division / League One (Level 3)Play-off winners (1): 1998–99
- Cups: FA CupWinners : 1903–04, 1933–34, 1955–56, 1968–69, 2010–11, 2018–1. Football League Cup / EFL CupWinners : 1969–70, 1975–76, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20. FA Charity Shield / FA Community ShieldWinners : 1937, 1968, 1972, 2012, 2018, 2012
- European / UEFA Cup Winners' CupWinners (1): 1969–70
Doubles and Trebles
- Doubles League and EFL Cup (2): 2013–14, 2017–18 . EFL Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1969–70 . Trebles Domestic Treble (League, FA Cup, and EFL Cup) (1): 2018–19
Best Manchester City Defenders ever
When it comes to a 140-year-old football club, it becomes too difficult to choose the best ones. However, we have selected the fifteen best ever Manchester City defenders.
The first one on our list of Best Manchester city defenders of all time, is Vince the prince Vincent Jean Mpoy Kompany was born on 10 April 1986 in Belgium. He started his football career at the age of 17 at Anderlecht and won several awards including the Belgian Golden Shoe and the Belgian Ebony Shoe. Soon his great performances in Anderlecht caught the eye of several top European sides, but he decided to stay at Anderlecht. After three successful years in Anderlecht, in 2006 he joined Hamburger SV, which wasn't quite flourishing. In his debut season for Hamburg, he managed only six Bundesliga starts for the club before suffering an Achilles injury in November that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
After two years, he decided to continue his football in Premier League. In 2008 by a four-year contract and unclosed fee he joined Manchester City, and just two days later he made his first debut in a match against West Ham United. It did not take long that he established himself as an indispensable part of the team and was considered as one of the bargain buys of the revolutionized City era and one of the league's best center backs.
For almost eleven years, Vince the prince played for the Cityzens. He made 360 appearances, scored 20 goals, and had 11 assists.
He had achieved the following victories:
Anderlecht :Belgian First Division: 2003–04, 2005–06
Manchester City: Premier League: 2011–12, 2013–14, 2017–18, 2018–19. FA Cup: 2010–11, 2018–19; runner-up: 2012–13. Football League/EFL Cup: 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18,2018–19. FA Community Shield: 2012, 2018
Belgium: FIFA World Cup third-place: 2018
Individual: Belgian Golden Shoe: 2004 . Belgian Young Professional Footballer of the Year: 2004, 2005. Belgian Ebony Shoe: 2004, 2005 . Manchester City Official Supporter's Player of the Year: 2010–11. Manchester City Player's Player of the Year: 2010–11. Premier League Player of the Season: 2011–12. PFA Team of the Year: 2010–11 Premier League, 2011–12 Premier League, 2013–14 Premier League. ESM Team of the Year: 2011–12. FIFA FIFPro World XI 3rd team: 2013, 2014. FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2015. Alan Hardaker Trophy: 2016, 2018. BBC Goal of the Season: 2018–19. FWA Tribute Award: 2020
Our next best Manchester City defenders of all time, is an Irish former footballer and current television pundit for BT Sport. Richard Patrick Dunne was born on 21 September 1979 in Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland. He started playing football when he was a schoolboy. At that time he was playing for Home Farm.
When he was 15, he joined Everton. By playing in Everton he was given the chance of experiencing top-level football. As his five-year contract with Everton finished, in 2000, he joined Man City for a fee of £3.5 million and soon made his biggest impact on the team as a defender.
After almost nine years, he left Man City and joined Aston Villa in 2009. He played there for almost four years and in 2013 on a free transfer, he joined Queens Park Rangers. In his ten seasons with the blue shirt of City, he made 347 appearances, scored 7 goals, and had 2 assists.
He had achieved the following victories:
Everton: FA Youth Cup: 1997–98
Manchester City: Football League First Division: 2001–02
Aston Villa: Football League Cup runner-up: 2009–10
Queens Park Rangers: Football League Championship play-offs: 2013–14
Republic of Ireland: UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship: 1998
Individual: PFA Team of the Year (1): 2010. FAI Senior International Player of the Year (2): 2007, 2011. Manchester City F.C. Player of the Year (4): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
One of the most famous Argentinian footballer- known for his tenacious style of play- is our third best Manchester City defenders of all time. Pablo Javier Zabaleta Girod was born on 16 January 1985 in Buenos Aires.
He began his football career at Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro in 2002, at first he played as a defensive midfielder but eventually moved to the right side of midfield. For three years, he played for his hometown club and then in 2005 by a €3 million contract he joined Espanyol. But again he didn't stay there for more than three years.
In 2008, he took his biggest step, and by a £6.45 million contract, he joined Man City. At that time had said:
"The offer is impossible to reject and not just because of the money ... Juventus also wanted me but I wanted to come to England, and to Manchester."
Joining Man city was indeed his breakthrough. It was with Manchester City, that he could win all of English football's major honors. He played for the Cityzens since 2008 till 2017. He made 333 appearances, scored 11 goals, and had 28 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Manchester City :Premier League: 2011–12, 2013–14. FA Cup: 2010–11: runner-up: 2012–13. Football League Cup: 2013–14, 2015–16. FA Community Shield: 2012
Individual: PFA Team of the Year: 2012–13 Premier League. Manchester City Player of the Month: January 2009, December 2012, January 2013. FIFPro World XI 5th team: 2013- 2014
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The Serbian Player of the Year in 2011 is our next best Manchester City defenders of all time. He was born on 10 November 1985 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia. He started his football in Red Star Belgrade youth system and after a couple of years with a three-year contract he joined Čukarički, his professional football started since then.
After a one-year experience in OFK Beograd and three seasons in Lazio, on 24 July 2010, it was officiated that Kolarov had signed for Manchester City for a £16 million transfer fee. He is indeed one of the greatest defenders ever, generally, he plays as a left-back, but he can also operate as a center-back. He is famous for his overlapping attacking runs on the wing, his supreme ball-striking talent with his left foot, and his accuracy from free-kicks.
He spent seven years in City and during all these years he made 247 appearances, scored 21 goals, and had 37 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Lazio: Coppa Italia: 2008–09. Supercoppa Italiana: 2009
Manchester City: Premier League: 2011–12, 2013–14. FA Cup: 2010–11 runner-up: 2012–13. Football League Cup: 2013–14, 2015–16. FA Community Shield: 2012
Serbia U21: UEFA European Under-21 Championship runner-up: 2007
Individual: Serbian Player of the Year: 2011. Serie A Team of the Year: 2018–19
The next footballer on our list of the best Manchester City defenders of all time is Micah Lincoln Richards who began his professional football career with the Cityzens. He started his junior football in Oldham Athletic and just after one year he joined Manchester City junior team and soon found his way into the main team. On 22 October 2005, Micah made his first-team debut against Arsenal as a substitute for Danny Mills in the 85th minute of a 1–0 defeat at Highbury. After the match, he said it was the most memorable day of his life.
For almost a decade Micah played for City, he made 246 appearances, scored 9 goals, and had 14 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
England U21: UEFA European Under-21 Championship runner-up: 2009
Manchester City: Premier League: 2011–12 .FA Cup: 2010–11. League Cup: 2013-14
Individual: Premier League Player of the Month: August 2007. Young Sportsperson of the Year: 2007
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The current center back of the City, with 210 appearances, 11 goals, and 4 assists would be considered the sixth best Manchester City defenders of all time. Nicolás Hernán Gonzalo Otamendi was born on 12 February 1988 in Buenos Aires. He started his junior football career at Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield and after almost 12 years found his way into the senior team.
Otamendi, before joining Man City, four years played in Porto, one year for Valencia. On 20 August, he joined Manchester City on a five-year deal for a fee of £32 million. He made his debut on 15 September, coming on as a 75th-minute substitute for Vincent Kompany in a 1–2 home loss against Juventus for the Champions League group phase. Up to this moment, he made 210 appearances, scored 11 goals, and had 4 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Vélez: Argentine Primera División: 2009 Clausura
Porto: Primeira Liga: 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13. Taça de Portugal: 2010–11. Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2011, 2012, 2013. UEFA Europa League: 2010–11. Taça da Liga runner-up: 2012–13
Manchester City: Premier League: 2017–18, 2018–19. FA Cup: 2018–19.. Football League/EFL Cup: 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19,2019–20. FA Community Shield: 2018, 2019
Argentina: Copa América runner-up: 2015, 2016[
Individual: South American Team of the Year: 2009. La Liga Team of the Season: 2014–15. Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2015, 2016. PFA Team of the Year: 2017–18 Premier League
The next best Manchester City defenders of all time, on our list is a French former footballer. Sylvain Distin was born on 16 December 1977 in Bagnolet, France. He began his profession at French non-league side Joué-lès-Tours after one year he joined Tours. He stayed there for a year and then moved to Gueugnon. His performances for Gueugnon inspired Paris Saint-Germain to sign him but he couldn't endure there and after a year he went on loan to Newcastle United. Although Newcastle wanted to sign Distin permanently, he rejected the offer and decided to join the City by a £4 million contract.
Since 2002 till 2007 in total Distin made 205 appearances, scored 6 goals, and had 1 assist. He had achieved the following victories:
Gueugnon: Coupe de la Ligue: 1999–2000
Individual: Manchester City Player of the Year: 2002–03
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Our next best ever Manchester City defenders, is a two-footed player. Gaël Dimitri Clichy was born on 26 July 1985 in Toulouse, France. When he was five, he started his football career in his hometown club AS Hersoise. Time passed and he could find his way into Cannes and start professional football. After just one year he took his biggest step and joined Arsenal in 2003. He spent almost eight years with Arsenal and later on in 2011, it was officiated that Man City made a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee with this French defender and soon established himself as first-choice left-back after beginning the season as the backup to Aleksandar Kolarov.
Clichy in his six seasons with City made 203 appearances, scored 3 goals, and had 4 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Arsenal: Premier League: 2003–04. FA Community Shield: 2004. Football League Cup runner-up: 2010–11. UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2005–06
Manchester City: Premier League: 2011–12, 2013–14. Football League Cup: 2013–14, 2015–16[. FA Community Shield: 2012. FA Cup runner-up: 2012–13
France U21: Toulon Tournament: 2004
Individual: PFA Team of the Year: 2007–08 Premier League
The next all-time best Manchester City defenders in our opinion, is Navas who plays the vast majority of his career in La Liga, but still his great performances put his name on our list. Jesús Navas González was born on 21 November 1985 in Los Palacios, Spain. when he was 15, he joined Sevilla's youth system and after one year he broke into the first team and from 2003 till 2013 played in La Liga.
Having spent more than a decade in Sevilla, on 4 June 2013 it was confirmed that Navas by a £14.9 million contract joined the City. In his four seasons as a Man City defender, he made 183 appearances, scored 8 goals, and had 39 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Sevilla: Copa del Rey: 2006–07, 2009–10. Supercopa de España: 2007. UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League: 2005–06. 2006–07, 2019–20. UEFA Super Cup: 2006
Manchester City: Premier League: 2013–14. Football League Cup: 2013–14, 2015–16
Spain: FIFA World Cup: 2010. UEFA European Championship: 2012. FIFA Confederations Cup runner-up: 2013
Individual: La Liga Best Attacking Midfielder: 2009–10. UEFA La Liga Team of The Season: 2018–19. UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2019–20
Orders: Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2011
Let's move on our next Best defenders in Manchester City history who was named in the Championship team of the year for the 2005–06 season.bJoleon Patrick Lescott was born on 16 August 1982 in Birmingham. He started his football at Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2000 when he was 17. After six years he took a bigger step and joined Everton. There, he played for almost three years.
On 25 August 2009, Lescott joined Man City by a five-year £22 million contract. He spent five seasons at the club and during this time he made 160 appearances, scored 9 goals, and had 4 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Wolverhampton Wanderers:Football League First Division play-offs: 2003
Everton: FA Cup runner-up: 2008–09
Manchester City: Premier League: 2011–12, 2013–14. FA Cup: 2010–11; runner-up: 2012–13. Football League Cup: 2013–14
Individual: Everton Player of the Season: 2007–08.Everton Players' Player of the Season: 2006–07, 2007–08. PFA Team of the Year: 2001–02 First Division, 2003–03 First Division, 2005–06 Championship. Wolverhampton Wanderers Player of the Year: 2002–03, 2004–05
The next best Manchester City defenders ever, is an English retired footballer and the current manager of League One club Northampton Town. Keith Curle was born on 14 November 1963 in Bristol, England. In 1981, he started his professional football career in his hometown club-Bristol Rovers, and for almost a decade played at different English football clubs.
It took ten years for him to join Man City. In August 1991 Manchester paid a club-record £2.5million for him, at the time he was one of the highest-paid for a player in any position. From 1991 till 1996 he made 151 appearances, scored 7 goals,
The subsequent spot on our list of all-time best Manchester City defenders, belongs to an Asian footballer. Sun Jihai was born on 30 September 1977 in China. He is indeed one of the well-known footballers in China. His football career started at Dalian Shide in 1995. There, he spent seven years, and eventually, he could find his way into Premier League.
In February 2002, by a £2 million contract, he joined Manchester City and named the first Asian player to sign for the club. Soon, his performances caught the eyes of fans and critics. In September 2002 he was voted the best player for the club. In October 2002, he became the first East Asian footballer who scored in the Premier League.
He spent six years with Cityzens, in total he made 151 appearances, scored 4 goals, and had 3 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Dalian Shide: Chinese Jia-A League: 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001. Chinese FA Cup: 2001. Chinese FA Super Cup: 1997, 2000
Manchester City: Football League First Division: 2001–02
Guizhou Renhe: Chinese FA Cup: 2013. Chinese FA Super Cup: 2014
Individual: Chinese Football Association Young Player of the Year: 1998. Chinese Jia-A League Team of the Year: 1997, 2001. Chinese FA Super Cup Most Valuable Player: 2014. English Football Hall of Fame Special Category: 2015. IFFHS Legends
Kyle Andrew Walker who has the long experience of playing in different English clubs is our next all-time best defenders at Manchester City. He was born on 28 May 1990 in Sheffield, England. He started his football at the age of seven in Sheffield United. He continued his football in some different soccer clubs including Northampton Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers, and Aston Villa.
Finally in 2017, after eleven years since his debut, on 14 July he signed his contract with City. His transfer announced to be worth an initial £45 million fee, rising to £50 million with add-ons. His costly contract was one of the most expensive football transfers. He made 145 appearances, scored 3 goals, and had 14 assists and achieved the following victories:
Queens Park Rangers: Football League Championship: 2010–11
Tottenham Hotspur: Football League Cup runner-up: 2014–15
Manchester City: Premier League: 2017–18, 2018–19. FA Cup: 2018–19. EFL Cup: 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20. FA Community Shield: 2018, 2019
England U19: UEFA European Under-19 Championship runner-up: 2009
England: UEFA Nations League third place: 2018–19
Individual: UEFA European Under-21 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2011. PFA Young Player of the Year: 2011–12. PFA Team of the Year: 2011–12 Premier League, 2016–17 Premier League, 2017–18 Premier League.FIFA FIFPro World11 2nd team: 2018. FIFA FIFPro World11 nominee: 2019 (11th defender)
The world's second most expensive defender in history is our next best defenders in Manchester City history. John Stones was born on 28 May 1994 in Barnsley, England. In 2011 he joined his hometown club- Barnsley youth academy. For two years he played there and later on, he joined Everton.
Three years passed and on 9 August 2016, he joined the Cityzens by a £47.5 million on a six-year deal. He is still playing for Man City and so far he made 134 appearances, scored 5 goals, and had 2 assists. He had achieved the following victories:
Manchester City: Premier League: 2017–18, 2018–19. FA Cup: 2018–19. EFL Cup: 2017–18, 2019–20.FA Community Shield: 2018, 2019
England: UEFA Nations League third place: 2018–19
Individual: Everton Young Player of the Season: 2014–15
The last name on our list of best Manchester City defenders of all time is a player who played 468 league games in a 20-year career the Football League and Premier League. Ian Robert Brightwell was born on 9 April 1968 in Lutterworth, England. He started his professional career in Manchester and for almost 12 years he remained loyal to City.
At the age of 14, he joined Manchester and helped his club to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1988–89. In 1998 he left his home- Man City- and after that continued his football in several other clubs including Coventry City, Walsall, Stoke City, Port Vale, Macclesfield Town.
All in all, he made 119 appearances and scored 2 goals.He had achieved the following victories:
Manchester City:FA Youth Cup winner: 1986. Football League Second Division runner-up: 1988–89
Walsall: Football League Second Division play-off winner: 2001
Stoke City: Football League Second Division play-off winner: 2002
In the above article, we have tried to briefly but accurately introduce you to the best Manchester City defenders of all time. Who else do you think could be on the above list? Share your opinion with us.