Man City’s Team Before Sheikh Mansour’s Takeover: Where Are They Now?

Manchester City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (L) with chief executive Ferran Soriano (C) and Director of football Txiki Begiristain in the stands.

Reuters / Jason Cairnduff

Ten years ago, Manchester City was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, with Sheikh Mansour calling the shots and effectively altering the future of the lesser known Mancunian side.

A decade later, three resounding Premier League titles have been captured, and the Cityzens are one of the most feared teams in the world, largely owing to their sizable investments in the transfer markets by virtue of their big-money owners.

However, this wasn’t always the case; let us have a look at the final City side before the fateful move:


Joe Hart

Torino's goalkeeper Joe Hart reacts.

REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

The English shot-stopper remained a part of the City roster for quite a while, before he was deemed below par for their needs, despite having led them to the hallowed titles. He now plays for Burnley, having left the champions earlier this summer.

Vedran Corluka

The Croatian centre-back, who also functioned as a right-back for City, now plays for Lokomotiv Moscow as their captain. One of the first players to leave after the takeover, he had a brief stint at Tottenham as well.

Micah Richards

Another defender who had a successful spell at City and held on till the memorable 2011/12 season, he has now been signed by Championship side Aston Villa. During the title-winning campaign, Richards warded off injuries and notched the most assists by any defender in the league.

Richard Dunne

A rare City legend and club captain who was replaced by the likes of Toure and Lescott. Unfortunately, he was one of the players that received a severe release after the takeover, as the Irishman apparently wasn’t big enough of a player for the new brand. He is currently retired and serves as a football pundit.

Michael Ball

Another retired player who functioned as a left-back. The Englishman had a severe injury in 2009, and he left City and spent a few years as a free agent before returning to play for Leicester and then finally hanging his boots.

Stephen Ireland

A product of Man City’s youth academy, Ireland currently plays for Stoke City, part of a loan deal from parent club Aston Villa. He was a regular till Mancini took over the Sky Blues and sold him in 2010.

Didi Hamann

A player whose professional playing days are over, despite ongoing stints with amateur sides. The German’s end came after City released him after the 2008/09 season.

Michael Johnson

Another retired player, the midfielder was once prized to be a brilliant player of the great game. Unfortunately, an abdominal injury caused his exit.

Vincent Kompany

Man City’s Vincent Kompany celebrates winning the Carabao Cup.

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

A rare, familiar name in the present context, the Belgian defender has gone on to become the backbone of City’s recent success. Still the captain of the Mancunian giants at 32 years of age, one does wonder about his future.

Shaun Wrights-Philips

Two seasons after the takeover saw the English winger heavily feature for City, but the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure quickly lapped up his starting spot. Now inactive, his last stints were with QPR, New York Red Bulls, and Phoenix Rising FC.


The Brazilian was signed shortly before the takeover for a fee of £19 million. This was then viewed as a huge amount, which is ironic considering the massive purchases the club has made since and the sheer records they’ve broken. The striker currently functions for Japanese club Nagoya Grampus.



Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel celebrates after Wes Morgan scores their first goal.

Reuters / Carl Recine

City’s bench featured the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, the son of United’s legendary goalkeeper, and who is currently more renowned for his shot-stopping antics with Leicester City.

Javier Garrido now plays for Norwich City, while Tal Ben Haim and Gelson Fernandes ply their trades for Standard Liege and Freiburg respectively.

Elano is now with Gremio, while the controversial career of City’s youth academy product Ched Evans has now seen the striker with Fleetwood Town.

Lastly, the memorable name of Daniel Sturridge once dotted City’s roster, but the English forward now plays for Liverpool.