Manchester City Football Club kicked off their pre-season campaign in style with a glitzy party for fans last night..
The star-studded event at Manchester Central was the first of its kind in the Premier League, officially launching the Club’s 2013-14 campaign in front of thousands of fans and the Club’s first team.
The evening also saw City’s new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, take part in a Q&A, answering fans’ questions live onstage.
Hosted by respected sports pundit and the face of BT Sport’s Barclay’s Premier League coverage, Jake Humphrey, City Live saw new signings Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic, Jesus Navas and Fernandinho standing shoulder to shoulder with their new teammates in front of home fans for the first time. Speaking about his ambitions following his first goal for the club in the Audi Cup Final, Alvaro Negredo said: “Let’s hope it’s the first of many and let’s hope that together we can achieve all of our objectives for this season.”
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany also addressed the assembled crowds. Talking about his hopes for the forthcoming Premier League season, he said: “We are dying to come back and start this season – we’ve got so much to prove and we’re all looking forward to it. We’ve got a great team; I really think that at the end of this year we are going to achieve what we are setting out to with our targets.”
Attendees enjoyed an electric set from Miles Kane, who played a hit-laden set of songs from his critically-acclaimed albums “Colour of the Trap” and “Don’t Forget Who You Are?”, and lifelong Blue Jason Manford had players and fans alike roaring during a laugh-a-minute stand-up set full of quips about life as a City fan.
The recipients of the Club’s highly-anticipated awards for the 2012-13 season were also announced:
- Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta was presented with the prestigious title of 2012–13 MCFC Etihad Player of the Year. 26,000 fans took part in voting for the award. Accepting the award, Zabaleta said: “This is a very special moment for me. I can guarantee to everyone that we have been working really hard in this pre-season. We are hungry to win more trophies.”
- Sergio Aguero was voted the recipient of Goal of the Season by fans, for his cool finish from the byline against Liverpool – and also claimed the #2 spot for his effort in the Manchester derby.
- Ivory Coast striker Yaya Toure had the prestige of being presented with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index Award. The accolade is awarded to the player with the highest performance statistics, as measured by EA. Toure, it was revealed, had a pass completion rate of 85% during the 2012-13 season.
- 20 year old Serbian centre-back, Matija Nastasic, who joined the club from Fiorentina during last summer’s transfer window, topped off a successful first season at the club by taking home the Young Player of the Year award.
- Marcos Lopes fought off competition from Jose Angel Pozo, Greg Leigh, Ellis Plummer and Emyr Huws to be voted Academy Player of the Year by fans. The 17 year old made immediate impact when he was brought on as a sub during the 88th minute of Manchester City’s FA Cup third round tie against Watford, to score the third and final goal only two minutes later.