Ranking the greatest top 10 Manchester City legends of all time

Ranking the greatest top 10 Manchester City legends of all time

Claudia Kogi
updated at April 22, 2024 at 9:17 AM

Manchester City has played in the Premier League continuously since 2002, rising from ninth place in the standings first to place in 2022. In 1899, they became the first English club to achieve the top flight. In this article, you will learn about the Manchester City legends who have ultimately taken the club to great glory.

Manchester City legends of all time
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

While we are searching for the Manchester City legends of all time, many of them will be from the current age when City has drawn some of the finest football talents on the planet. But, like with every club, legends are formed in both excellent and terrible times, so expect to see some names from Maine Road's glory days.

Who are the top ten Manchester City legendary players?

No English club has had more domestic success than Manchester City. This success would not have been possible without these best players now called legends. Using the most recent data and statistics we have compiled a comprehensive list of the greatest City legends.

10. Bert Trautmann

Bert Trautmann
A photo of Trautmann, Bernhard Carl 'Bert. Photo: Schirner
Source: Getty Images

Forced to play with a fractured neck at one point, Bernhard Carl Trautmann was a German footballer who played over 500 times for City between 1949 and 1964 as a goalkeeper. To date, he is categorised among the biggest Manchester City legends.

When he collided with Birmingham's Peter Murphy, the German cracked many vertebrae in his neck but was ignorant of the severity of the injury and continued to play the remainder of the game, in which City won 3-1.

9. Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure playing for the World Legends during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 match between Arab Legends and World Legends in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Matthew Ashton
Source: Getty Images

Toure's heroic efforts during his tenure in Manchester aided the origin of Manchester City's recent success, and he is unquestionably one of the club's finest ever players. Yet, on the other hand, the Ivorian seems to be denied the credit that his tremendous efforts deserve.

Toure made his debut at Manchester City in 2010 when he shifted from Barcelona for about $28 million. Sky Sports analyst Paul Merson described him as an ordinary player who doesn't score or create goals upon his arrival. On the other hand, Yaya Toure swiftly disapproved of his critics and went on to become one of Manchester City's legendary defenders.

His achievements in the club have unquestionably raised the club's profile as he is responsible for a slew of memorable goals and winning multiple awards.

8. David Silva

David Silva
David Silva of Real Sociedad controls the ball during the La Liga Santader match against Real Sociedad in Valencia, Spain. Photo: Maria Jose Segovia
Source: Getty Images

When it comes to football, Silva is one of the finest players ever to grace the English Premier League. He has won two FA Cups, five League Cups, and four Premier League crowns since joining Manchester City from Valencia in 2010.

When discussing the current number 8, Silva is the go-to guy because of his ability to pick up the ball in tight quarters, distribute it, and score important goals. So when there is a discussion about the famous Manchester City legends, you sure have David Silva on the list.

7. Mike Summerbee

Mike Summerbee
Former Manchester's player Mike Summerbee before the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Photo: Joe Giddens
Source: Getty Images

When Mike Summerbee made his Swindon Town debut in 1959, he was 16. In 1965, Joe Mercer paid Manchester City $45,000 for the 22-year-old, who had already made 200 league appearances. City's finest ever attack-minded side was built around him, and he would play an integral role in it for ten years.

Along with Colin Bell and Francis Lee, he was an essential member of the squad that won four titles between 1968 and 1970 as an intelligent, goal-scoring right-winger. Today, not only is he a fan-favourite but also among the best Manchester City legends of all time.

6. Frank Swift

Frank Swift
England's Joe Mercer (second r) walks out for the victory international against Belgium, followed by teammates Laurie Scott (fourth l) and Frank Swift (second l). Photo: S&G/PA Images
Source: Getty Images

Frank Swift is a legendary Manchester City goalkeeper and one of the best in the country's history. He joined Birmingham City on a free transfer in 1933, making his debut at the age of 18.

Over the years, he was known for his gigantic hands and fingers, which would take crosses literally off the heads of charging attackers and even catch the heavy leather football with only one hand. He was a tyrant in the penalty area.

5. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne warms up on the touchline during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match against Sporting CP in Manchester, England. Photo: Chris Brunskill
Source: Getty Images

Of course, when discussing the world's top attacking midfielders, the Belgian will come up again after a time. However, for both club and country, Kevin displayed his skills and abilities in the field. De Bruyne may be the complete player globally in terms of skills set, technical abilities, physical attributes, and mental toughness. Kevin De Bruyne is one of the FIFA 22 Manchester City legends called up for recent matches.

4. Francis Lee

Francis Lee
Former Manchester's player and chairman, Francis Lee leaves the service at the Funeral of Manchester City Life President Bernard Halford in Manchester, England. Photo: Matt McNulty
Source: Getty Images

Francis Lee, famously dubbed Franny, was a prominent part of the team's powerful reign during those great years of the late '60s and early '70s. In 1994, Lee purchased the club for $3.9 million and became the organisation's chairman. In 1998, the team was on the verge of being relegated from the Premier League to the Third Division.

Joe Mercer then referred to him as the last piece in the puzzle when he signed him from Bolton Wanderers in October 1967. When the rebuilding and revitalisation of Manchester City culminated in the club winning the First Division title for the first time since 1937, Mercer's prediction proved to be spot on.

Having defeated Wolves with a 2-0 score on his debut, the team embarked on an 11-match unbeaten run in the league to challenge the Reds of Liverpool at the top of the table. Lee scored 16 goals in 31 league games during the 1967/68 season, with only Neil Young outscoring him.

3. Neil Young

Neil Young
Neil Young walks off the pitch at half-time during the FA Cup Third Round match between Marine and Tottenham Hotspur in Crosby, England. Photo: Clive Brunskill
Source: Getty Images

During the 1969 FA Cup Finals in a match against Leicester FC, Neil Young was the prime lead for taking the club to glory. City is known for producing home and international legends, including Neil. Colin Bell, Francis Lee, and Mike Summerbee were all on his squad of 11 Englishmen.

It was simple for Neil, who had a wide range of abilities, to go undetected and fall into the background of people's thoughts. Therefore, it should not be a surprise if he appears on the list of Manchester City legends as of 2022.

2. Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany, former player of Man City, during the Croky Cup (Belgian Cup) semi final match between RSC Anderlecht and KAS Eupen in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Vincent Van
Source: Getty Images

A leader and a legend at Manchester City, Vincent Kompany, made a dream a reality. Following Kompany's appointment as the team's captain, the club won the Premier League for the first time in 44 years.

There is no doubt that Manchester will win trophies in the next year and that many players would like to stay on the gravy train and continue to play for the club for another year. However, neither Kompany nor any of its subsidiaries are leaving soon.

1. Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero
Kun Aguero of FC Barcelona reacts during the press conference to announce his retirement from football after a heart condition at Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Pedro Salado
Source: Getty Images

Sergio is Manchester City's most prolific top scorer and the most decorated player in the club's history. The Argentine striker is widely regarded as one of the finest in the history of the Premier League and holds the Golden Boot.

He is presently the fourth-greatest scorer in Premier League history and the top non-English scorer in the competition's history, with 180 goals. He also owns the Premier League record for most hat-tricks.

Manchester City's current squad

Here are the current Manchester City players called up for recent matches.


  • Zack Steffen
  • Ederson
  • Scott Carson


  • Gabriel Jesus
  • Ben Knight


  • Kyle Walker
  • Rúben Dias
  • John Stones
  • Nathan Ake
  • Oleksandr Zinchenko
  • Aymeric Laporte
  • Benjamin Mendy
  • Joao Cancelo
  • Benjamin Mendy


  • Rodri
  • Kevin De Bruyne (4th-captain)
  • Bernardo Silva
  • Fernandinho
  • Riyad Mahrez
  • Phil Foden
  • Cole Palmer
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Ilkay Gundogan
  • Jack Grealish

Despite the age of some of these Manchester City legends, their input and contributions to the team as a whole are still remembered and honoured. These famous Manchester City football legends will be regarded as the best of all time for many generations.

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Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined Sportsbrief.com as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.