Fri 24 March 2023 | 5:30

Best Manchester City Defenders of all time

Defenders are the backbone of a team. The better defender, the stronger the team is. considering the importance of defenders, let's take a look at the Best Manchester city defenders of all time.

Selecting the greatest players for each position is crucial if a soccer club wants to dominate all contests and be regarded as successful.

It's true that football is similar to chess in that if one team couldn't manage to define its area, the other would take it.

Man City is one of the most successful football clubs in the world and this fact is demonstrated by all of their achievements.

All-time best Defenders of 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.

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



  • First Division / Premier League

    : 1936–37, 1967–68, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21, 2021–22



  • FA Cup

    : 1903–04, 1933–34, 1955–56, 1968–69, 2010–11, 2018–19 

  • Football League Cup / EFL Cup Winners

    : 1969–70, 1975–76, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21 

  • FA Charity Shield / FA Community Shield

    : 1937, 1968, 1972, 2012, 2018, 2019


  • European / UEFA Cup Winners' CupWinners

    (1): 1969–70

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


Vincent Kompany

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


, 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 achievements:

  • 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

  • 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

Richard Dunne

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


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:

  • Manchester City

    : Football League First Division: 2001–02

  • 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

Pablo Zabaleta

One of the most famous Argentinian footballer- known for his tenacious style of play- has our third place on the list of the 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


. 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 achievements:

  • 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

Aleksandar Kolarov

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


, 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 was 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 achievements:

  • Individual

    : Serbian Player of the Year: 2011. Serie A Team of the Year: 2018–19

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

Micah Richards

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 achievements:

  • 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

Glyn Pardoe

Glyn Pardoe, an English football player who played for Manchester City from 1962 to 1974, was born on 1 June 1946 and passed away on May 26, 2020. In April 1962, he faced Birmingham City for the first time.

He set a record for being Manchester City's youngest player ever at almost 16 years old, a mark that is still in effect in 2023.

Pardoe, a skilled right-footer who primarily played on the left, began his career as a forward but switched to full-back in 1966, a position he held for the remainder of his playing career.

Pardoe played for Manchester City during one of its most prosperous periods. The team won the league title, FA Cup, League Cup, and European Cup Winners' Cup.

Tony Book

Anthony Keith Book, a former English football player, and coach, was born on September 4, 1934. He joined Manchester City at the age of 31, where he rose to the position of captain.

Manchester City won four major titles while Book served as captain, earning him the club's second-most decorated captain all-time.

From 1974 to 1979, Book led Manchester City for five years.

From then until 1996, he had a number of coaching positions with the team.

Joleon Lescott

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.

Joleon 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


. 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:

  • 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

Keith Curle

The next

best Manchester City defenders ever

, is an English retired footballer. 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.

Kyle Walker

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 237 appearances, scored 6 goals, and had 18 assists and achieved the following victories:

  • 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

  • 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)

John Stones

John Stones 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 has made 215 appearances, scored 13 goals, and had 4 assists. He has 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

  • Individual

    : Everton Young Player of the Season: 2014–15

Ian Brightwell

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:

  • FA Youth Cup winner: 1986. Football League Second Division runner-up: 1988–89

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.

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source: SportMob

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