4 players who you never knew played for  Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain

Neymar and Mbappe will be vying to go against the Manchester City defence.
Neymar and Mbappe will be vying to go against the Manchester City defence.
Varun Nair
Modified 02 May 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The last decade has seen the rise of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain as European football powerhouses. Both clubs were in a similar stagnation before oil money helped them achieve domestic dominance. Both clubs have also been desperately craving European success over the last few seasons.

Manchester City defeated PSG 2-1 in an entralling first leg of a UEFA Champions League semi-final of the at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday. The second leg takes places next week in Manchester.

Four players who played for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain

Over the years, several notable names have played for both these famous European sides. On that note, let's take a look at four famous players who have played for both clubs.

#4 Sylvain Distin

Distin was the Manchester City captain between 2003-06.
Distin was the Manchester City captain between 2003-06.

The football world took notice of Sylvain Distin when a lowly FC Guengnon defeated Paris Saint-Germain to win the 2000 French Cup. The Frenchman's impressive performance for Les Forgerons saw PSG sign the defender in 2000.

Distin's time in Paris was a short one. The defender played just one season in Paris and spent his second one on loan at Newcastle United. During his only season with PSG, the defender made 45 appearances.

The Frenchman moved to Manchester City in 2002 after an impressive spell with Newcastle United. Distin had an impressive debut season, winning the 2002-03 Manchester City Player-of-the-Year Award. He became captain of the side the following season and formed a decent defensive partnership with Richard Dunne. The Frenchman left the club on a free in 2007 after 206 appearances and six goals.

Sylvain Distin went onto have spells with Portsmouth, Everton and Bournemouth before retiring in 2016.

#2 Ali Benarbia

Benarbia led Manchester City to the First Division Title in 2002.
Benarbia led Manchester City to the First Division Title in 2002.

The Algerian was the best player in the French League when he moved to Paris Saint Germain in 1999. Benarbia had recently won the league with Bordeaux and was primed to take the young PSG squad to their first league title in six years. Appointed captain on his arrival, the midfielder led PSG to second, finishing seven points behind AS Monaco.

Benarbia spent another disappointing season with the Parisians before moving to Manchester City in 2001. In his two seasons in Paris, the Algerian made 62 appearances and scored two goals. He was also part of the squad that won the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Despite his success in France, Benarbia was a relatively unknown figure when he arrived at Maine Road in 2001. Brought to the club by Kevin Keegan, Benarbia made an immediate impact on the Manchester City squad. The Algerian quickly became a cult figure at Maine Road through his performances.

With Benarbia, Manchester City made a quick return to the Premier League. At 34 and past his best, the Algerian couldn't cope with the pace of the English top division, however. Ali Benarbia played the final game of his Manchester City career against Barcelona during the inaugural match at their new City of Manchester Stadium (known as Etihad today).

During his short spell, the Algerian made 77 appearances and scored 11 times for the Citizens. He also led the club to the First Division title in 2002 and was part of the 2001-02 PFA First Division Team of the Year. Benarbia went onto play for Al-Rayyan and Qatar SC before retiring in 2006.

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Published 02 May 2021
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