Manchester City have won 6 trophies since Sheikh Mansour's takeover of the club in September 2008.
It has been the best part of a decade since Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi United Group acquired Manchester City for £265 million. In that time, they have transformed the blue side of Manchester from a middling Premier League team to a European force with world class players, enormous resources, fantastic youth facilities and arguably the best young manager in world football.
Mansour's tenure has also brought the end to a 35 year trophy drought and a 44 year wait for a top flight title. It's fair to say then, Manchester City are a very different club today to the one purchased by Mansour in September of 2008, yet somewhat surprisingly, 3 players who played a big part during the 2008-09 season are still under contract at the Etihad.
Eight-and-a-half years on from Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Manchester City, HITC Sport takes a look at the Citizens last starting XI before Mansour became the club's owner, and before the likes of Robinho, Touré and Aguero descended upon Manchester. City's last game before the takeover was a 3-0 away win against Sunderland, courtesy of Stephen Ireland's opener and a brace by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Manchester City players Shaun Wright Phillips, Vincent Kompany, Michael Johnson and Stephen Ireland
Manchester City's first choice goalkeeper over eight years ago and the man many supporters feel should still be between the sticks at the Etihad, Joe Hart is currently out on-loan at Serie A side Torino, with Pep Guardiola preferring Claudio Bravo to the Englishman. Hart has played 348 games for Manchester City, winning 5 trophies and a record 4 Premier League Golden Gloves.
Vedran Corluka is booked at the 2014 World Cup
Whilst current star Pablo Zabaleta was Man City's regular right-back during the 2008-09 season, it was Vedran Corluka who started in their win over Sunderland. It was his last game for City, and he left for Tottenham the very next day, the same day in which Sheikh Mansour acquired the club. Now aged 30, Corluka plays in Russia for Lokomotiv Moscow.
Homegrown talent Micah Richards played 50 games for Manchester City in the 2008-09 season, the most he has played in any single season of his career. Very highly-regarded when he first broke through at the Etihad, a combination of failing to realise his potential and City flexing their financial muscles saw him fall out of favour. Still only 28, Richards is now in the Championship with Aston Villa.
Richard Dunne in action for Aston Villa against Manchester City
A great servant to Manchester City, despite having a penchant for both red cards and own goals, Richard Dunne played more than 350 games for the club. A four-time Manchester City Player of the Year winner and one-time PFA Team of the Year winner, Dunne left City to have further success at Aston Villa before retiring in 2015.
One-cap wonder Michael Ball spent two-and-a-half years at Manchester City, making 63 appearances. The 37-year-old played for the likes of Everton, Rangers and PSV, but he effectively retired after leaving City in 2009 at the age of 29. He now works in player recruitment and consultancy as well as writing a weekly column.
Despite breaking the British record for a signing in 2008 to sign Robinho, it was Stephen Ireland who won Manchester City's 2008-09 Player of the Season award, and quite rightly so. The Irishman was magnificent that season, scoring 13 goals and looking very classy in midfield. A number of factors have been attributed to Ireland's downfall, but in 2010 he joined Aston Villa and the 30-year-old now plays for Stoke City.
Dietmar Hamann celebrates scoring for Manchester City
Former Liverpool and Bayern Munich great Dietmar Hamann joined Manchester City in 2006 and went on to spend 3 years with the club before departing for MK Dons. A Champions League winner and a World Cup finalist, Hamann was a very effective holding midfielder who now works as a pundit following a brief stint in coaching and management.
Micah Richards and Stephen Ireland may not have lived up to their full potential having come through the Manchester City academy, but the duo have at least carved out careers in the upper echelons of the English game. The same cannot be said of Michael Johnson.
Once tipped as a future star for England, Dietmar Hamann likened him to his compatriot Michael Ballack, such was the high regard he held the central midfielder in. A combination of injuries, off field issues and mental health struggles saw Johnson's career over in his early 20's, and he opened his own estate agents in January 2015.
Vincent Kompany is still at Manchester City
Still a key player at Manchester City, when he is fit at least, Vincent Kompany was signed as a midfield player, and that is where he played in his first couple of years at the Etihad. The big Belgian was later converted to centre-back, becoming City's captain and one of the most accomplished defenders in the Premier League. Now in his ninth season at Man City, the 30-year-old has played more than 300 games and won 6 trophies for the club.
The best years of Shaun Wright-Phillips' career were spent in a Manchester City shirt. Having broken into the England team and made the PFA Team of the Year, he made a big-money move to Chelsea, but after failing to make a massive impact at the Bridge, he returned to Manchester in 2008. He left the club for a second time in 2011 and the 35-year-old now plays alongside brother Bradley in the MLS for New York Red Bulls.
Brazilian international Jô struggled to score goals at Manchester City
Former Brazilian international striker Jô has had a somewhat unusual career. Having scored prolifically in Russia for CSKA Moscow, he joined Manchester City for a club record fee of £19 million in 2008, but failed to register a single league goal in 21 appearances and 3 years at the Etihad.
He returned to Brazil in 2011 and got himself back among the goals, even getting back into the national team, before having spells in Dubai and China. He is currently playing for Corinthians who he joined in November 2016.