Ball-magnets and record breakers
Manchester City is comprised of some of the best players in the world. Here’s a look at how the Citizens could line up on Wednesday in Budapest (21:00 CET).
Ederson: World Record holder
City’s Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Santana de Moraes features in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest football drop kick. The 27-year-old kicked the ball 75.35 metres at the Citizens’ training ground in May 2018.
João Cancelo: Versatility in defence
Though listed as a right-back, João Cancelo has frequently featured on the left-hand side of the City defence this season. The gifted technical Portuguese joined Pep Guardiola’s team in 2019 and is well-known for his surging runs forward to join in with attacks. In his final season at Juventus, Cancelo recorded as many dribbles as teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and even more than PSG’s Kylian Mbappé.
Rúben Dias: Flawless at centre-back
When asked about Rúben Dias, coach Pep Guardiola responded by saying: “He simply makes no mistakes.” City’s new arrival has adjusted almost perfectly to the Premier League and has established himself in the heart of the Sky Blues’ defence. The 23-year-old Portuguese international is not only impressing with his positional play and defensive work, but also has a passing accuracy of 93.1% which ranks him at fourth in the Premier League.
John Stones: City’s lucky charm
When John Stones plays, Manchester City win. That’s the theory at least, as City have picked up an average of 2.87 points when the Englishman has been on the pitch. In addition to this, Stones also has the highest passing accuracy of any player in the Premier League at 93.8%.
Kyle Walker: Full-back and part-time goalkeeper
City’s ever-reliable right-back has Champions League experience in net for Pep Guardiola’s team. In last year’s competition against Atalanta, regular number 1 Ederson was substituted with an injury and his replacement Claudio Bravo was sent off for a foul, and so it fell to Walker to don the gloves. His subsequent save from the Italians’ free kick also set a curious record, as it was the first save by an English goalkeeper in the Champions League for three years!
Rodri: An excellent technician
Rodrigo Hernández Cascante, or Rodri for short, is considered one of the most versatile players in the Premier League and is a real ball-magnet. The 24-year-old has recorded the most touches in the league at 2,171 and boasts a dribble success rate of 82.1%.
Kevin De Bruyne: The playmaker
Only Thierry Henry has matched the 20 assists that the Belgian recorded last season, a Premier League record. The 29-year-old was named Premier League Playmaker of the Season and Player of the Season for 2019/20. In his five seasons with the Citizens, De Bruyne has been directly involved in an average of 29 goals per season. This season, the Belgian international has recorded 13 goal involvements in 19 league games despite spending a more than a month out with injury.
Phil Foden: One of the best young talents in world football
Phil Foden made his Champions League debut aged just 17 years, five months and 24 days old against Feyenoord in 2017, making him City’s youngest debutant in the competition. He actually made his first appearance in the Champions League before his Premier League debut, but Foden still holds a record in the domestic league, becoming the youngest player ever to be crowned a Premier League winner in 2018 aged 17 years and 350 days.
Ilkay Gündogan: The top scorer
Ilkay Gündogan has established himself as one of Pep Guardiola’s most important players in Manchester and has shone in front of goal this season, netting eleven goals in just 19 Premier League appearances. In January, Gündogan became only the third German to be voted Premier League Player of the Month. The 30-year-old missed the 3-1 victory over Everton with injury but returned to the starting XI for the Citizen’s recent 1-0 win at Arsenal.
Bernardo Silva: Most popular in the dressing room
Fans of the Sky Blues have affectionately dubbed Silva "Messizinho" – the little Messi. The 26-year-old is an extremely strong runner and regularly covers more than 13 kilometres per game. He is also the most popular man in the City dressing room according to Pep Guardiola. Bernardo Silva was named Portugal’s Player of the Year in three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019, dethroning Cristiano Ronaldo who had won the award eight out of the last ten years previously.
Raheem Sterling: Golden Boy winner
Raheem Sterling grew up close to Wembley Stadium and won the Golden Boy award while at Liverpool before joining City in 2015. The 26-year-old won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and has been directly involved in 15 league goals so far this season. Sterling, whose market value is now over €100 million, is now an established international for England and has played a major role in qualifiers for the upcoming European Championship, scoring eight times and setting up nine more.