Jack Rodwell of Sydney FC warms up during the Australia A League match between Sydney FC and West Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia on 18 March 2023.

8 former Manchester City players we can’t believe are still playing in 2023

Manchester City are a club transformed from 15 years ago and looking at some of their former players who are still playing in 2023 really drives that point home.

While many younger fans will know City as trophy-winning bemouths, the club made some really mind-boggling signings during the Thaksin interlude and even in the early part of the Abu Dhabi era.

We’ve taken a look at eight former City men we can’t believe are still playing in 2023.

Roque Santa Cruz

He’s 42, looks like a film star and is still killing it for Libertad in the Paraguayan top tier. Our hero.

Jack Rodwell

After his much-publicised struggles following his departure from City – first at Sunderland, then Blackburn and Sheffield United – Rodwell moved to Australia to sign for Western Sydney Wanderers in 2021.

But after just playing just 14 games all season, he was brutally released and it looked like it might be time for the 31-year-old to call it a day.

After two weeks on trial with local rivals Sydney FC in August 2022, though, Rodwell was handed another chance.

Sydney manager Steve Corica said: “I expect him to get even better this season; he is still in his peak years as a footballer and can excel in various positions.”

And Rodwell seems to be making a better fist of things at his second Australian club, making 13 appearances in last season’s A-League.


Gael Clichy

Signed from Arsenal during that period where City treated the Emirates as their local Tesco Metro, Clichy was part of two title-winning squads and was considered a reliable performer by City supporters.

The former France international most recently played for Servette in Switzerland and has previously spoken about his coaching plans after his playing career is over.

“I am looking forward to the future,” Clichy told The Telegraph last month. “If a good project comes, I would think about playing one more year.”

He’s currently unattached, but we’re hoping to see another thunderbolt like this one before he hangs up his boots…

Gael Clichy during the Swiss Super League match between Servette and Basel at Stade de Geneve, Geneva, October 2022.

READ: Gael Clichy’s still playing? Yes, and he’s scoring Puskas contenders too

Valeri Bojinov

When Bojinov signed for City in 2007, chief exec Alistair Mackintosh said: “Our signing of Valeri is another sign of the impact made by Dr Thaksin Shiniwatra and Sven-Goran Eriksson.” That’s a very surreal sentence to be reading 16 years on.

Mackintosh added: “Valeri is an exciting young player and a great addition to the squad.”

That bit was true, or at least the first bit was. Bojinov was exciting. But injuries prevented him from proving his worth in England.

He moved on to Parma in 2009 and has since played for 13 further clubs in Italy, Portugal, China, Switzerland and his native Bulgaria.

The 14th of those is the 37-year-old’s current side Vitosha Bistritsa, where Bojinov acts as player-coach to the side in the third tier of Bulgarian football.

John Guidetti

Guidetti was on City’s books for no fewer than seven years, but made just one appearance for the first team. In fairness, he did supply the assist for the match-winner against West Brom in 2010.

Instead, the prolific goal-scorer at youth level was farmed out on a number of loan deals including Burnley, Feyenoord, Stoke and Celtic.

He’s carved out a decent career for himself, playing for the likes of Celta Vigo and Hanover, and is now back in his native Sweden with AIK.

Wilfried Bony

One of the biggest flops of the Abu Dhabi era, Bony was never able to replicate the form he showed at Swansea that made City pay £28million for his services in 2015.

After just 10 goals in 48 appearances, the majority from the bench or in cup competitions, the former Ivory Coast international was loaned to Stoke before City cut their losses and sanctioned his return to Swansea on a permanent basis.

Now 34, Bony has played in Saudi Arabia (before it was cool) and the Netherlands. He moved to Bolivia this year, signing for Always Ready in the country’s top tier, which is incredibly f*ckin’ cool.

Claudio Bravo

You may remember Bravo flapping about between the sticks at the Etihad, as Pep Guardiola briefly questioned the wisdom of swiping left on Joe Hart back in 2016.

But, while Bravo was swiftly replaced by Ederson, he did have his moments in England – many City fans will fondly remember his penalty-saving heroics during City’s run to League Cup glory in 2017-18.

Now 39, Bravo plays for Real Betis and made an impressive 21 appearances last term. Let’s hope to see him in Europa League action in the coming months.

Vladimir Weiss

Known for his speed and trickery from the wing, Weiss was widely expected to make the transition from the youth ranks at City into the first team.

But the Slovakia international would make a single appearance for City, instead spending loan spells at Bolton, Rangers and Espanyol before leaving for good in 2012.

He’s managed to play 66 times for his country, but Weiss’ club career never took off as expected. He’s back in his home country with Slovan Bratislava.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? Man City’s final XI before Sheikh Mansour takeover

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Man City?