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What happened to the last team Sven-Goran Eriksson managed at Anfield shows incredible Man City transformation

What happened to the last team Sven-Goran Eriksson managed at Anfield shows incredible Man City transformation

There were plenty of memorable names.

Sven-Goran Eriksson will take charge of a Liverpool Legends side at Anfield next month - the first time he has taken charge of a club at the stadium in nearly 16 years.

The former England manager revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and may only have a year to live.

He admitted that it had been his dream to manage Liverpool, and regretted it was something he had not been able to do during his career in management.

Liverpool have arranged for Eriksson to take charge of the LFC Legends side when they take on Ajax Legends in a charity game on March 23.

He will also take the team talk and be involved with substitutions, while he has also been invited by Jurgen Klopp to spend a day at Liverpool's training ground.

During his career, Eriksson did take charge of one Premier League club, as he took the Manchester City job following his departure from England.

This was in the pre-takeover days of Manchester City, with the club still owned by the Thai businessman Thaksin Shinawatra.

City travelled to Liverpool in May 2008, with rumours rife that the Swede would be departing the club following the final two Premier League games of the campaign.

That would prove to be correct, with City being thrashed 8-1 at Middlesbrough on the final day.

But before then, they had a trip to Anfield, where Fernando Torres scored the only goal of the game to secure a 1-0 victory for Rafael Benitez's side.

Here is how City lined up that day - and what happened to the players.

Joe Hart


Joe Hart would become one of the best goalkeepers in the world and a key part of the early City sides under the now City Football Group's reign.

After winning two Premier League titles, Pep Guardiola told Hart that he was surplus to requirements and he had loan spells at Torino and West Ham before joining Burnley on a permanent deal.

He was signed by Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in 2020, spending a year in north London before becoming Celtic's number one goalkeeper the following year.

Vedran Corluka

Croatia centre-back Vedran Corluka was one of the first players to depart City under the new regime, playing just three Premier League games before being shipped out to Tottenham.

After falling out of favour at Spurs, he joined Bayer Leverkusen on loan in 2011 before signing for Lokomotiv Moscow, where he spent the rest of his career before retiring in 2021. He is now a coach.

Richard Dunne

Infamously the record holder for most Premier League own goals, Richard Dunne had joined City in 2000 before helping them to promotion from Division One in 2001.

A stalwart at the back for City, Dunne remained a key player in Mark Hughes' first season in charge, but left the club in the summer of 2009 to join Aston Villa.

Following a two-year spell with QPR, which saw Dunne record a promotion and a relegation, he retired in 2015 and moved into punditry.

Michael Ball

A left-back who had previously enjoyed spells with Everton and Rangers, Michael Ball joined City in 2007, making 48 appearances.

But he had surgery on a serious knee tendon injury in January 2009, and didn't play for another club for a further two years after being released in the summer of 2009.

After being signed by Leicester, he then had his contract terminated in January 2012 after sending a homophobic comment on Twitter towards Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton.

Sun Jihai

The first East Asian goalscorer in Premier League history, Sun Jihai was a reliable figure for City across his six years at the club.

But he was sold in 2008 to Championship side Sheffield United, meaning he didn't play under the new ownership, before ending his career with numerous clubs in his home country of China. He retired in 2016.



Brazilian midfielder Elano scored 10 goals and provided 10 assists under Eriksson in 2007/08, and was expected to play a key role under Hughes.

That didn't quite happen, however, and Elano signed for Galatasaray in 2009, where he would spend 18 months.

After a spell with Santos, Elano became one of the Indian Super League's first marquee players, signing for Chennaiyin.

He subsequently returned to Santos and retired at the end of 2016, before moving into coaching and management.

Darius Vassell

Darius Vassell was reunited with Eriksson once he was appointed, with the pair having worked together with England.

He played eight games in the following campaign, scoring zero goals, before being sold to Turkish side Ankaragucu in 2010.

After a two-season spell with Leicester in the Championship - also under Eriksson - Vassell officially retired in 2016 and now does occasional punditry work.

Stephen Ireland

Stephen Ireland became one of the key players in the post-takeover City side, despite the major signing of Robinho.

He scored 13 goals in all competitions in 2008/09, largely boosted by a blistering early-season run of form, and was named City's Senior Player of the Season.

Ireland couldn't match that tally in future years, but remained in the Premier League during spells with Newcastle, Aston Villa and Stoke until 2018, when he finished his career with a one-season spell in the Championship with Bolton.

He is now a football agent.

Michael Johnson


Michael Johnson was seen as a future star of world football when he broke through City's academy in 2006.

Having been a regular under Eriksson, the then 20-year-old was viewed as a player that could lead the charge for the club under new ownership.

But after just three appearances in the 2008/09 campaign, Johnson suffered an abdominal injury that kept him out for seven months.

Johnson then ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and, despite a loan spell playing under Eriksson at Leicester in 2011, the midfielder suffered another injury.

He was released by City in December 2012, and told the Manchester Evening News that he had been attending the Priory Clinic 'for a number of years' to undergo treatment for his mental health.

Martin Petrov


A popular figure during his early days at City, Martin Petrov was in and out of the team during Mark Hughes' first season in charge, but scored four goals in 16 games in the 2009/10 season.

He was released by City that summer, before a three-year spell at Bolton.

Petrov then spent a year with La Liga side Espanyol, before retiring in 2014 after returning home to play for Bulgarian giants CSKA Sofia.

Benjani Mwaruwari

After being signed from Portsmouth in 2008 after 12 goals in 23 Premier League games that season, Zimbabwe international Benjani was never able to replicate that form at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Following short spells with Blackburn, Sunderland and Portsmouth, Benjani moved to South Africa, where he closed out his career in 2014 after playing for Bidvest Wits.

He then moved into coaching, and his son, Benjani Jr, signed his first professional contract with Yeovil in 2022.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Sven-Goran Eriksson, Manchester City, Liverpool, Joe Hart, Anfield, Premier League, Football