The most dramatic conclusion to Premier League season happened back in 2012 when Manchester City lifted the esteemed league title after a span of 44 years. The adrenaline was worth it, the tears were worth it and the scenery when the prolonged wait for a title came to an end, was undoubtedly worth every penny.
However, since the triumphant season in 2012, the squad has been revamped and revitalized at various intervals as the Citizens tasted resounding success in the past five seasons. Given the fact that this all started seven years back, lets dwell on the players who made it all possible and where are they now.
The England international was the first choice between the nets for City’s then manager Roberto Mancini as he enjoyed a successful stint that season. Hart kept 19 clean sheets in the Premier League that season and was a rock-solid figure for the Citizens. He was loaned out to Torino in 2016 and West Ham United in 2017 before eventually joining Burnley in 2018.
City’s most beloved player, Vincent Kompany was the architect of defence in their ascent to glory. He guided the team all along and was an impeccable defender for the Citizens. He struck that crucial goal last season against Leicester City to propel City to yet another league title before leaving the club for RSC Anderlecht.
The Argentinian defender ensured that the Citizens didn’t lose the momentum on the left flank. After joining City back in 2008 from Espanyol, Pablo Zabaleta was stern at the back on the day of their final encounter against Queens Park Rangers in 2012. He moved to West Ham United in the 2017/18 season.
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Joleon Lescott’s tenure at City was fruitful in 2012 as he became an instrumental member of the back line at the time and was a regular starter for the Citizens. The center-back was asked to leave back in 2014 when City were in a bid to revamp their entire defensive model. He eventually retired at Sunderland in 2017.
Joining City from rivals Arsenal in 2011, French defender Gael Clichy made those lung bursting runs on the flank and was renowned for his extensive work rate. He remained with the blue side of Manchester until 2017 and made his move to Istanbul Basaksehir FK in Turkey, where he still plays.
Samir Nasri was one of the hottest properties in football back in the 2011/12 season. Arsenal let him join City in the triumphant season itself and the French midfielder delivered his promise by providing five goals and nine crucial assists in that season. He was loaned to Sevilla in 2016 and at present is playing with his ex-teammate, Kompany at RSC Anderlecht.
Before being loaned out to Everton in 2013, Gareth Barry was a pivotal figure in City’s midfield, especially in the 2012 season. He made 34 appearances in the league that season and drove the City’s midfield engine. All is not well for Barry as of now. He moved to West Bromwich Albion in 2017 and is now without a club. He is although training with the club at present.
Arguably City’s most influential player in dictating the play, David Silva is still serving the team he helped lift the trophy back in 2012. He’s been at City since 2010 and has lifted four Premier League titles at the Etihad stadium. The Spaniard’s record in the title winning season back in 2012 was phenomenal as he racked up a total of 17 assists in the league.
Yaya Toure came to City after a three-year stint with Spanish giants Barcelona. His unparalleled determination paved the way for City’s historic success in 2012 when he netted six goals and provided seven valuable assists in the entire season. The 36-year-old is now attached with a club in China named Qingdao Huanghai.
Manchester City’s most prolific forward of all time, Sergio Aguero has only nourished and turned into a world class striker. He is going strong with the Citizens and his goal scoring abilities have taken new leaps. Since scoring the memorable title-winner against QPR, the Argentine striker has gone on to become the club’s top-scorer.
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Manchester United fans were displeased when they witnessed their ex-player lifting the title with their neighbours. Although, Tevez played just 13 games in the league in 2012, he scored four goals and gave three invaluable assists. He traversed around making his way to Juventus, Boca Juniors and SH Shenhua in subsequent years, but decided to come back to Boca Juniors in 2018.
Known for his flamboyance and gimmicks on the pitch, Mario Balotelli provided the goals that City desperately needed back then. He netted 13 goals and was slowly emerging as one of the most promising forwards in the world at the time. Since leaving City in 2013, the Italian striker has become more of a journeyman, representing the likes of AC Milan (twice), Liverpool, Nice, Marseille before settling at Brescia Calcio in Serie A.
Currently leading the pack at AS Roma in Italy, Edin Dzeko’s equalizer in stoppage time turned the tides for City and made them believe that they could lift the title. He enjoyed a successful campaign with the Citizens with 14 goals and made a famous comeback possible that will be echoed across the Etihad stadium for ages.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Paul Ellis