Club ambassador and former winger Mike Summerbee might have played with Pelé in the 1981 film Escape to Victory, but it was only recently that a Brazilian influence took hold at City. Indeed, their first boys from Brazil, midfielder Geovanni and winger Elano, only arrived in the summer of 2007. While Geovanni lasted just a year and made two league starts – scoring a Manchester derby winner on one of them – Elano’s contribution was more consistently felt across his two seasons, with 18 goals scored.
The summer of 2008 brought another Brazilian trio. Striker Jô, signed before the club’s Abu Dhabi takeover, managed just one league goal. Robinho arrived with considerably more fanfare as the first superstar signing of the Sheikh Mansour era in a £32.5m move from Real Madrid, but was back in Brazil on loan at Santos by 2010. Berti Glauber, meanwhile, holds cult status among City fans for having sat on the bench 20 times in 2008/09 but made the pitch only for a six-minute final-day runout against Bolton Wanderers.
Since then, City have largely looked for Brazilians to plug gaps further back: full-backs Sylvinho, Maicon and Danilo, and midfielder Fernando. Then there’s Fernandinho, a £34m recruit from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 who’s now in his eighth season at the club and a pivotal figure in their two title triumphs under Guardiola.