“Thought they were retired, but they still exist. Who are they? Here’s the list.”
1NEWS – No top club in the world has undergone such a dramatic transformation over the last 15 years as Manchester City. As a result there has been a considerable substitution of players.
Some who have played have become club legends such as Vincent Kompany, David Silva, to Sergio Aguero. Others, especially those who arrived during the transition from Sven Goran Eriksson, Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini, were quickly deemed not good enough and moved clubs.
Yet some of those who were banished went on to forge long careers elsewhere and some of them are still going strong. In fact, to this day.
We’ve picked six former Man City stars who can’t believe they’re still playing professionally in 2021. Here’s the list:
1. Valeri Bojinov
“Bojinov’s transfer is another sign of the impact Thaksin Shiniwatra and Sven-Goran Eriksson are making. Valeri is an exciting young player and a great addition to the squad,” said Man City chief executive Alistair Mackintosh when Bojinov signed from Fiorentina in 2007.
Unfortunately for Bojinov and Man City, that’s not what happened. Injured knee ligaments less than a month after signing the contract, ruined his first season at the club. An Achilles tendon injury a year later damaged the second. And, that’s quite a lot.
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Eleven appearances over two years were followed by a loan spell at Parma, leaving Bojinov missing. Later, he played in Portugal, Switzerland, China, Croatia, for five different clubs in Italy as well as two clubs in his native Bulgaria. He is now serving his third term with Levski Sofia at the age of 35.
2. Jo Alves
Jo was meant to be the next big player when signing for Man City in 2008 as a Brazilian striker who won the domestic league with Carlos Tevez at Corinthians and scored 30 goals in 53 league games in Russia with CSKA Moscow.
However, Jo’s poor lifestyle had an impact on his game. It did not take long, the first season at Man City was immediately loaned to Everton. It didn’t last long. Man City then sent him back to Brazil in 2011.
In 2012, Jo joined Atletico Mineiro and won the Copa Libertadores with Ronaldinho. However, the supporters became witnesses when they saw his performance decline again.
Because of the liquor, he returned to Corinthians and led them to another domestic title, 12 years after his first. An adventure in Japan was also on the way, but he is now back at Corinthians and recently joined former Chelsea player Willian.
Corinthians Soccer-Striker, Jo (“João Alves de Assis Silva”), Wins Brazil’s Player Of The Year Award, Jo Leads Brazilian League In Scoring, Eyes World Cup Spot https://t.co/65Y3M2Rzn7#sportsnews#newspic.twitter.com/icqd0TgmAw
— MyBoySay (@MyBoySay) December 10, 2017
3. Vladimir Weiss
Weiss was part of the great Man City youth team that lifted the 2007/2008 FA Junior Cup. He played up front alongside Daniel Sturridge. He seemed skillful, quick and clever, and biting.
Our joy was short-lived. Weiss is not enough to face the rigors of the Premier League. He was sold to Pescara in 2012. His season in Greece came before seven years playing in Qatar. Then, aged 31, he returned to Slovakia with Slovan Bratislava and has made 74 international appearances, including three substitute appearances at Euro 2020.
Always good to see a former QSL rep doing well!
— Mitch Freeley (@mitchos) June 14, 2021
4. Roque Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz scored his first goal for Olimpia in October 1998 and scored his last goal for Olimpia in August 2021. He has had a not bad career, with five Bundesliga titles, 114 caps with the Paraguay national team, a few seasons with Blackburn, and the most enjoyable playing time for him. with Malaga until finally bought by Man City.
Now, he is 40 years old and still playing for the club in his hometown of Asuncion. Santa Cruz has now changed his look with gray hair, long hair, a beard, which somehow fits his age.
5. Mario Balotelli
There’s a lot to remember when talking about Mario Balotelli, especially the negatives. Players who actually have good skills often experience bad luck due to poor behavior. He is now 31 years old and playing for Adana Demirspor who has just been promoted to Turkey’s top flight.
Gooooooooool Balotelli pic.twitter.com/SY1yNAJwuX
— Ramazan Koysu (@RamazanKoysu) October 1, 2021
Maicon is the absolute definition of a full-back from Brazil. He already looks a bit old and went through it when he arrived at Man City in 2012, largely due to a mistake Gareth Bale gave him in the Champions League in November 2010. Maicon made just 13 appearances during his time at the Etihad Stadium.
He experienced a bit of a resurgence in Rome over the next three seasons and then flew back to his homeland. Amazingly, his return to Brazil is not the end. In 2020, he moved back to Italy to play in Serie D and in the summer of 2021, he moved to a football club in San Marino.