Manchester City have been transformed beyond recognition by the takeover of Sheikh Mansour. More than a decade of Abu Dhabi ownership has yielded 11 major trophies, including four Premier League titles, and more than £1.5 billion spent on playe
It began with a bang on Sept. 1, 2008 when the Abu Dhabi Group agreed to buy City from Thaksin Shinawatra and on the same day spent a club record £32.5 million to sign Robinho from Real Madrid. But success wasn’t instant and, on May 24, Mark Hughes’ side ended the 2008-09 campaign with a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium to finish 10th in the table — 40 points behind champions Manchester United.
On the anniversary of that final game of their first season under Abu Dhabi control, here’s a look at what happened to the squad at that time.
- Ogden: How Man City changed football forever
Robinho and Vladimir Weiss take in the lap of honour after the final game of the 2009 season. Ed Garvey/Manchester City FC via Getty Images
GK: Shay Given: Having left City after three seasons in 2011, the Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper had spells at Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Stoke before retiring in 2017. Now he is the head goalkeeping coach at Derby County.
GK: Joe Hart: Departed in 2018, after two years of loan spells with Torino and West Ham, but is still playing for Burnley — though he hasn’t made a Premier League appearance this season.
GK: Kasper Schmeichel: First-choice goalkeeper at Leicester City, where he won a famous Premier League title in 2015-16.
Kasper Schmeichel is a Premier League winner. AP
DEF: Micah Richards: Announced his retirement in July 2019, after a four-year spell with Aston Villa, aged just 31. Now working as a pundit for the BBC and an ambassador for City.
DEF: Javier Garrido: The defender signed from Real Sociedad after leaving City in 2010 and had stints at Lazio, Norwich City, Las Palmas and AEK Larnaca. Now 35, he still turns out for Spanish third-tier side Real Union.
- Stream new episodes of ESPN FC Monday-Friday on ESPN+
- Stream every episode of 30 for 30: Soccer Stories on ESPN+
- Where Europe’s top leagues stand on finishing 2019-20 season
DEF: Nedum Onuoha: Left for QPR in January 2012 and played against his former club in the game which clinched a dramatic title for City on the final day of the 2011-12 season. Has featured for MLS side Real Salt Lake since 2018 and hit the headlines for his clash with Zlatan Ibrahimovic last year.
DEF: Richard Dunne: City’s captain left the club in 2009 and ended his playing career in 2015 after a spell at QPR. He now lives in Monte Carlo while occasionally travelling back to Ireland to work as a pundit.
DEF: Pablo Zabaleta: Still playing in the Premier League for West Ham at the age of 35, having left City in 2017 after over 300 appearances.
DEF: Wayne Bridge: Hung up his boots in 2014 after spending the latter part of his career on loan, married The Saturdays singer Frankie Sandford and was a contestant on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2016.