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Five who played for both – Manchester City and Inter Milan

Manchester City and Inter Milan meet in the UEFA Champions League final this weekend, as both teams look to win club football’s biggest prize.

Pep Guardiola’s side will start as favourites as Manchester City look to complete a historic treble, against an Inter Milan side into their first Champions League final for more than a decade.

Ahead of their huge meeting at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, we look at five players who have represented both clubs.

Five players who played for both Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira is best associated with a decorated period in the Premier League at Arsenal, but had spells at both Inter Milan and Manchester City later in his career.

Vieira signed for Inter Milan from Juventus after a single season with the latter, who were relegated to Serie B as a result of their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal. Inter Milan raided their rivals to sign Vieira and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the duo contributed to Inter’s emergence as Italy’s dominant side.

Vieira won three league titles with the Nerazzurri, first under the management of future Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and then Jose Mourinho. After three-and-a-half seasons at the San Siro, he became Mancini’s first signing as City manager in January 2010, after the Italian replaced the sacked Mark Hughes in Manchester.

The midfielder made 46 appearances and scored six goals across 18 months at the Etihad and ended his career on a high with FA Cup success in 2011. It was Vieira’s fifth winners’ medal in the tournament after four at Arsenal and City’s first major trophy in 35 years.

Mario Balotelli

Ah, Mario.

Occasionally brilliant, often bonkers, and with long list of unforgettable incidents both on and off the pitch.

Balotelli made his name at Inter Milan after breaking into the side as a teenager, with the forward becoming the youngest player to score a Champions League goal for the club against Anorthosis Famagusta in 2008.

Balotelli’s bright moments were mixed with ill-discipline however, and Jose Mourinho endured a particularly strained relationship with the unpredictable Italian. He scored 28 goals in 86 appearances for Inter, but was allowed to leave in a £20m deal to sign for Manchester City in 2010.

He reunited with Roberto Mancini at the Etihad, but again frustrated as he failed to turn talent into consistent performances. Balotelli scored 30 goals in 80 games for the Citizens, but attracted just as much attention for his exploits off the pitch.

He reportedly racked up £300,000 in club fines for acts that included throwing darts at a youth team player, while he infamously set alight to a friend’s home after setting off fireworks in the bathroom. In the days after that incident, he revealed his iconic ‘Why Always Me?’ shirt after scoring twice in Manchester City’s 6-1 win at Manchester United.

Maicon

Maicon was a marauding presence at right-back for Inter Milan and widely viewed as one of the best in the world in his position.

The Brazilian’s buccaneering best saw him win four consecutive Serie A titles at Inter Milan and he was a driving force in the club’s treble-winning season under Jose Mourinho in 2009/10.

That season saw Maicon named as UEFA Club Defender of the Year and was the highlight of a career with the club that saw the defender make 249 appearances in all competitions.

He signed for Manchester City in a £3m deal in 2012, but was a shadow of his former self during a Premier League career that saw him make just nine league appearances.

Aleksandr Kolarov

Manchester City signed Aleksandr Kolarov from Lazio ahead of the 2010/11 season, agreeing a £16m deal for the Serbian full-back.

Kolarov was a dangerous attacking presence from left-back, with his game built on overlapping runs forward and thunderous shooting ability. Kolarov spent seven seasons at the Etihad and impressed as Manchester City emerged as a superpower of the Premier League.

He formed part of the team that ended the club’s 35-year wait for a major trophy with FA Cup success in 2011, before adding two Premier League titles and two League Cups to his medal collection. After 257 appearances he returned to Serie A to sign for Roma and spent three successful seasons at the Stadio Olimpico.

Kolarov signed for Inter Milan in a €1.5m deal in 2020 and won the Serie A title during his debut season, but injuries restricted the left-back to just 15 appearances for the club across two seasons before retirement.

Edin Dzeko

Edin Dzeko will form part of the Inter Milan squad for this weekend’s Champions League final, having been an under-rated member of Manchester City’s early success in the Sheikh Mansour era.

Dzeko signed for Manchester City from Wolfsburg after firing the German side to the Bundesliga title and was an effective attacking option at the Etihad despite struggling for automatic status.

The Bosnian scored 72 goals in 189 games for the Citizens and became the first Manchester City player to score four goals in a Premier League match against Tottenham.

He delivered several memorable moments, including twice scoring braces in Manchester derbies at Old Trafford and a crucial equaliser in the club’s final day comeback against QPR in 2011/12, as City came from behind to snatch the Premier League title in dramatic fashion.

Dzeko was allowed to leave for Roma in 2015 and scored 119 goals across six seasons with the club. He joined Inter Milan on a free transfer in 2021 and has since scored 31 goals in 101 games.

The three-time Bosnia Player of the Year continues to offer threat despite celebrating his 37th birthday earlier this year.

Read – Remembering the Inter Milan side that famously beat Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2010

Read Also – Midfield Generals: Patrick Vieira – A Gunners great

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