City v FC Barcelona: Connections part two
- 18 February 2014 08:40
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
The second part in our look at links between the Blues and the Blaugrana ahead of this evening's UEFA Champions League tie...
Former City boss Mark Hughes was a Barcelona player for two years, although he only played a role in the 1986/87 season.
“Sparky” was loaned out to Bayern Munich for his second year after he failed to make a significant impression at the Catalan club in his maiden campaign – in all, Hughes made 36 appearances for Barcelona and scored five goals.
Hughes became City manager in June 2008 after successful spells in charge of Wales and Blackburn Rovers. He oversaw 77 games in which the Blues won 36 – a 46.75% winning ratio.
Danish midfielder Ronnie Ekelund caught Barcelona’s eye in the 1992 summer Olympics where he represented Denmark under-21s and it wasn’t long until he swapped Brondby in his homeland for the Catalan giants.
He only made one La Liga appearance for the first-team in his four years at the club as he found himself behind Michael Laudrup and Hristro Stoichkov in the Barcelona “Dream Team” pecking order, leading to a succession of loan spells in England, including a brief spell at City.
Ekelund appeared on four occasions for the Blues in the 1995/96 season and eventually hung up his boots in the USA in 2006 - he remains stateside to this day, working as a technical advisor for San Jose Earthquakes.
Brazilian playmaker Geovanni didn’t stay long at City but he certainly left an impression on supporters in his 19 appearances for the Blues.
A derby day winning goal against Manchester United in August 2007 certainly helped to cement his place in City folklore – one of three goals he scored under Sven Goran Eriksson.
The Acaiaca-born forward spent two years at Barcelona earlier in his career after his big money signing from Cruziero in 2001 and he played 41 times and scored on two occasions.
It was reported in August 2005 that Pep Guardiola had a ten-day trial with City at Carrington when Stuart Pearce was in charge.
Unfortunately, the City faithful never got to see the now-FC Bayern coach in sky blue and he signed on for Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico instead.
Pep represented Barcelona as a player and a manager with distinction, winning a total of nine La Liga titles, three European Cups and four European Super Cups.
Last but by no means, least... we couldn't have a list of City and Barcelona connections without Yaya Toure.
The 2013 African Footballer of the Year won seven trophies in his three years at the Camp Nou, meaning he’s still a popular figure there now.
The Ivorian made more than 100 appearances for the Blaugrana, before joining City in the summer of 2010.
Since making the Etihad Stadium his home, Yaya has won the FA Cup and the Barclays Premier League and has played a significant role in more than 160 games.
Join us here tonight on mcfc.co.uk for our live Match Day Centre, available on all devices, for all of the build-up and updates from the Etihad Stadium.