Yes, we thought Fernandinho retired ages ago too.

7 former Man City players you had no idea are still playing outside of Europe

While most former Manchester City players are currently playing elsewhere in Europe, several of their former employees have ventured away from the continent.

There are countless examples of former City players who are now playing across the globe after leaving the Etihad behind.

Ignoring some of the obvious names like Riyad Mahrez, here are seven former City players you probably had no idea were still playing outside of Europe.


A club legend who is still patrolling Athletico Paranaense’s midfield at the ripe old age of 38. Respect.

Fernandinho of Manchester City during the Champions League match against Sporting at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, 9th March 2022.

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Jason Denayer

Denayer never quite fulfilled his potential as the successor to Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, and was left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad in 2022, but he’s still had a solid career.

The one-time City starlet won the Turkish Super Lig title with Galatasaray in 2017-18 and made over 100 appearances for Lyon, featuring for the Ligue 1 side as they memorably dumped out City en route to the 2019-20 Champions League semi-finals.

Still only 28, Denayer is playing in Saudi Arabia with Al Fateh.


Fernando was one of the more forgettable signings during City’s imperial phase, with compatriot Fernandinho often preferred in a holding role in the City midfield.

The Brazilian signed for Galatasaray in 2017 and after two seasons in Turkey, joined Sevilla for £4million in the summer of 2019. He’s now back in his home country with second-tier outfit Vila Nova.

Zack Steffen

Despite 29 caps for the USMNT, Steffen spent last term out on loan at Middlesbrough and publically declared his desire to leave City after finding himself below Scott Carson in the pecking order.

“I don’t think I’ll go back,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer back in March.

“No, I want to be playing. Although I had a great time at City and I love those guys, and obviously [it’s] an amazing club, I don’t really have any plans to go back.”

He’s recently made a permanent move to Colorado Rapids. Good for him.

Seko Fofana

Fofana has starred at AFCON, helping Ivory Coast overcome a dodgy group stage to reach the final of a tournament held in their own country.

Such quality often falls through the gaps at City – the competition is fierce – but learning that Fofana isn’t playing elsewhere in Europe caused us to sit up with surprise.

The 28-year-old midfielder swapped Lens for Al Nassr last summer, but was recently loaned out to Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq after struggling to make much of an impact in Saudi Arabia. Shame.

Karim Rekik

Dutch defender Rekik joined City’s set-up in 2011 and made a small handful of appearances under Roberto Mancini amid loans away to Portsmouth, Blackburn and PSV.

He went on to earn four caps for the Netherlands and notched over 100 matches across Europe’s major leagues with Marseille, Hertha Berlin and Sevilla.

He’s now playing in the United Arab Emirates for Al-Jazira.

Bruno Zuculini

Zucilini’s one City appearance came in the 2014 Community Shield defeat against Arsenal, with the midfielder finding it impossible to break into the first team in east Manchester.

After numerous loans across Europe, Zucilini returned to his native Argentina and spent six years at River Plate before switching to Racing Club in January 2024.

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