Argentinians who've shaped Manchester City's revolution

With football at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sportstar looks at the contribution of Manchester City's Argentine stars in the club's revolution.

Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero were a lethal strike partnership for Manchester City in 2011-12   -  Reuters

Manchester City's emergence as a title-winning force in English football has had the imprint of several of its Argentinian imports. In the Sheikh Mansour era which began in 2008, City has won 10 major trophies, including four Premier League titles. From Pablo Zabaleta to Willy Caballero, Sportstar looks at the Argentinians who have left an indelible mark on the club's transformation.

Pablo Zabaleta

The fullback signed for City from Spanish club Espanyol a day before the takeover and with Mark Hughes as the head coach.

He was a defensive mainstay for the next eight seasons, staving off competition for the right-back spot from homegrown Micah Richards and playing an integral part in City's 2011-12 and 2013-14 Premier League-winning teams.

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Pablo Zabaleta was a fan favourite at Manchester City   -  Getty Images

Zabaleta earned the plaudits for his tireless endeavour and commitment to the club while becoming a self-declared Mancunian.

His overlapping runs were significant to City's style of play under Roberto Mancini and later Manuel Pellegrini, while his defensive game barely had a weakness.

He moved to West Ham United after 333 appearances, scoring 11 goals.

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Carlos Tevez

After stints with West Ham and Manchester United, Tevez arrived at City in the summer of 2009, joining the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Brian Kidd, Andy Cole, Peter Barnes, to name a few, in making the switch from Old Trafford.

Tevez didn't have a long career with City but he was part of the squad that ended the 35-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup in 2011 before securing the Premier League title in the following season.

Tevez scored some spectacular goals in his four seasons with the club, with his free-kick against Stoke City in the 2010-11 Premier League season the standout.

The diminutive centre forward finished with 73 goals in 148 appearances for City.

 

Sergio Aguero

The forward is arguably the club's most influential signing, bought from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £38m when Mancini was the manager.

Aguero is the club's all-time leading goal-scorer with 254 goals in all competitions, 77 clear of Eric Brook, who scored 177 goals in 494 appearances for City between 1928 and 1940.

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Sergio Aguero has consistently haunted Manchester United home and away   -  Getty Images

An out-and-out centre forward blessed with explosive power, a low centre of gravity and goal-scoring instincts, Aguero has smashed one record after another since arriving in England. He holds the record for the best minutes-per-goal, the most hat-tricks in the Premier League (12) and the most goals scored by a foreign player, to name a few.

Aguero, of course, provided the watershed moment in City's history with the 2011-12 Premier League-winning goal against Queens Park Rangers. However, his consistency and a marked improvement in his overall game under Pep Guardiola have been the other defining aspects of his City career.

Nicolas Otamendi

The central defender is among the more recent Argentinian imports in the City squad, having been signed from Valencia in the summer of 2015 by Pellegrini.

Otamendi's best season in the blue-and-white strip came in 2017-18, when he and John Stones forged a central defensive partnership which propelled City to reach 100 points.

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Nicolas Otamendi celebrates his goal at Old Trafford against Manchester United   -  Getty Images

Otamendi registered the most passes by a defender in the Premier League that campaign, with 3074, while also scoring match-defining goals in the wins over Manchester United and West Ham. His performances earned him a place in the City-dominated PFA Team of the Year.

He has won seven trophies with the club having made 203 appearances in all competitions.

Willy Caballero

The goalkeeper was signed from Malaga by Manuel Pellegrini in the summer of 2014, as a back-up to Joe Hart, an established City and England goalkeeper then.

Caballero stayed at City for three seasons, helping the club win the 2015-16 EFL Cup with his saves in the penalty shootout in the Wembley final against Liverpool.

He made 48 appearances for City before moving to Chelsea at the start of 2017-18 season.

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