Manchester City fans have had a footballing journey like no one else and it’s fair to say that things haven’t always been easy for the current Premier League champions.
In May 2008, they suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in Premier League history as Middlesbrough put eight goals past Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side.
We’ve scrolled back through the archives and have looked into what each member of Man City’s XI against Middlesbrough is up to these days.
GK: Andreas Isaksson
The Swedish goalkeeper was hamstrung by a series of injuries while in the Premier League and by the time he was fit again, Joe Hart was already chomping at the bit to replace him.
The final nail in the coffin for Isaksson was probably shipping eight goals against Middlesbrough, which turned out to be his last-ever game for City. To be fair to him, he still managed to make five saves in the game.
After stints with PSV and Kasımpasa, he finally hung up the gloves in 2018 and spent his final seasons with Djurgardens in Sweden. He has since gone into coaching and was most recently the goalkeeper coach of Djurgarden’s women’s team.
RB: Sun Jihai
Sun became the first ever Asian player to play for Man City when he joined the club in 2002. A real cult hero with the City faithful, the defender spent six years in the blue side of Manchester.
He played out his final footballing days in China and called it quits in 2016 with Beijing Renhe. Away from football, he has had great success with his own sports data company and is now a multi-millionaire worth £20million.
CB: Richard Dunne
The Irish defender ranks sixth on the all-time Premier League appearances list for City with 253. For context, that’s more than the likes of Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and Raheem Sterling ever managed.
He called it quits on his City career in 2009 and then had stints with Aston Villa and QPR before officially retiring in 2015. These days you’ll catch him on your TV screens as one of the few ex-City players who went into punditry.
CB: Michael Ball
Not to be confused with the singer, the former City defender struggled with injuries towards the end of his career. He eventually retired in 2012 after a short stint with Leicester and now works as an agent.
LB: Javier Garrido
The Spanish full-back had an abundance of technical ability, but several defensive blunders saw him slip down the pecking order at City. He spent a total of three years in Manchester, making 55 appearances in the process.
After leaving in 2010, he continued to bounce around Europe before finally retiring in 2020 at his hometown club Real Union. Like many other former pros, he has also gone into the agent industry.
RM: Darius Vassell (Dietmar Hamann, ’62)
Vassell officially hung up his boots in 2016 after short stints with Ankaragucu in Turkey and Leicester City. The former Man City forward now works as a coach for the Wolves Academy.
In the case of Hamann, he ended up in Manchester during the twilight of his career. These days the former Germany international works as a pundit for Sky Sports Bundesliga and you’ll regularly find him aiming a dig or two at Jurgen Klopp.
"Do me a favour and ask your own question" 😳
Jurgen Klopp is NOT happy with a comment made by Dietmar Hamann 👇 pic.twitter.com/X7EMKSuL7A
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 11, 2022
CM: Vedran Corluka
The Croatian joined his fellow Dynamo Zagreb graduate Luka Modric at Tottenham, signing for the club in a deadline-day deal after just one season at Manchester City.
He went on to make over 100 appearances for Harry Redknapp’s Spurs and was a prominent member of the side that went toe-to-toe with City in those memorable top-four battles at the turn of the decade.
Corluka left Tottenham for Bayer Leverkusen and spent a further nine years with the Russian club, eventually retiring in 2019.
The 37-year-old now serves as an assistant coach for Croatia, having received over 100 international caps as a player – including in their unforgettable run to the 2018 World Cup final.
CM: Gelson Fernandes
Former Switzerland international Fernandes enjoyed a nomadic career after departing City for Saint-Etienne back in 2009.
He later represented – deep breath – Chievo, Leicester, Udinese, Sporting, Sion, Freiburg, Rennes and Eintracht Frankfurt, eventually hanging up his well-travelled boots in 2020.
Nowadays he’s working for FIFA as Director Member Associations Africa.
LM: Martin Petrov (Elano, ’71)
Petrov stayed local after leaving City in 2010, going on to spend two-and-a-half years with Bolton Wanderers, dropping into the Championship following their relegation in 2012.
He retired in 2014 after a short stint back in Bulgaria with CSKA Sofia. The former winger has kept a low profile since then.
Late substitute Elano scored City’s only goal of the game that fateful afternoon and retired in 2015 back at first club Santos. The cult hero is now serving as manager for Brazilian lower-league club Ferroviaria.
Elano scored this beauty in a nine-goal thriller at the Riverside #OnThisDay in 2008
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 11, 2020
ST: Stephen Ireland
Ireland represented Aston Villa, Newcastle, Stoke and Bolton after leaving City but he never quite fulfilled the potential he showed in his early years in Manchester.
That’s a respectable enough career, but we have to take umbridge with his recent claims that “every time I played against Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard I’ve got the better of them”.
Stephen Ireland played 13 times against Liverpool with 3 different clubs.
He never registered a win. https://t.co/NFrXZ7xmMt
— Paul Anderson (@PaulAndo1987) May 2, 2023
ST: Benjani Mwaruwari (Nery Castillo, ’13)
While Benjani never quite replicated the goalscoring prowess of his Portsmouth days, he did score a match-winner in a Manchester derby on his debut.
That proved to be his career high-point. The forward only scored a further three Premier League goals for City and left for Blackburn Rovers in 2010. Post-retirement he’s served in a coaching role for Zimbabwean club Ngezi Platinum.
Mexico international Castillo made nine City appearances on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk but never scored a goal.
He later played back in Ukraine, MLS, Greece, Mexico and finally a short stint in La Liga with Rayo Vallecano. Nowadays he… *checks notes*… runs a shop for anglers in Greece. Sure, why not.