Former Manchester City attacking midfielder Elano has recently sat down with Stats Perform on OneFootball to discuss his memories of playing at the City of Manchester Stadium, including the success they achieved and the iconic double of city rivals Manchester United.
The Brazilian joined Manchester City in the summer of 2007, for a reported fee of £8 million from Shakhtar Donetsk. The now 39-year-old has revealed on previous occasions how he enjoyed his life in the North-West, describing the city of Manchester as beautiful.
Speaking exclusively to Stats Perform for a new feature on OneFootball, in which the Brazilian revisited some of the finest memories from his time in Sky Blue, Elano recalled the moment he joined the club back.
"I arrived at City in 2007. It was at the beginning [of Thaksin Shinawatra's ownership], the very beginning. But we had a great start. I will confess to you that things were not as promising as they are right now. But we still achieved good things", Elano said.
"We won some derbies, we qualified for the UEFA Cup, we finished the Premier League in a great position and I did very well, I was able to develop myself in the Premier League."
The 2007/2008 season will be one that will be fondly remembered by Manchester City fans for their double-success over nearby rivals Manchester City at home and at Old Trafford. Elano revisited that season and the triumph over Sir Alex Ferguson's side during the conversation.
"I remember in 2007-2008, we won two derbies. We played in the [City of] Manchester Stadium, it was not [called] the Etihad yet. We won at home and also at Old Trafford."
Elano was also swift to pick up on the importance of the victories for Manchester City's supporters, at a time when the club had not seen much success in the way of results. He continued, "It was, for the City fans and for us, a very special moment because City had been suffering for a long time, without great results or any joy. I think having these moments for us was very pleasant. I was a fan in the past as well, and I could see the happiness in the eyes of the City fans and it was so nice."
A lot has certainly changed since the Brazilian's playing days at the Etihad Stadium, despite his stint at the club marking the end and the very beginning of a new chapter for the football club. Elano has revealed he is 'very happy' to see the success that the current squad of players are now receiving.
"I feel very happy to see the team improving, seeing them doing well and they have won a few Premier League titles. But I think that promising process started with us, I guess it was a very positive moment for City."
He finished, "I think everything in life needs a start and I can say that I participated in the beginning of a very great Manchester City era, and I am very grateful to everyone because I have always been welcomed since I arrived there."
During his two seasons with Manchester City, Elano registered over 80 appearances for the club scoring 18 goals in the process - some of which have gone down in the recent history of the club as being some of the most iconic moments for supporters.
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