12 players who have played for rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League era from Fowler to Balotelli

MANCHESTER CITY and Liverpool are fighting on three fronts.

Dominant in the Premier League, where they face off this weekend, they will go toe-to-toe in the FA Cup semi-final and could face off against each other in the Champions League showpiece in Paris at the end of May.

But, there was a time when they weren't such fierce rivals.

And, believe it or not, players either transferred between the two clubs, or at least played for both.

SunSport looks at the 12 pros who starred for both sides in the Premier League era.

Raheem Sterling

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A man who delivered impeccable service to both, Sterling was nabbed from QPR by the Reds in a deal worth around £600,000, although a huge sell-on fee was reportedly included.

The winger would star under Brendan Rodgers before a contract dispute would see him force a move to Man City for £50million.

Sterling has blossomed into one of his generation's best players under Pep Guardiola – leading England to the final of the Euros last year.

He has also won the Premier League three times.

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Kolo Toure

Now first team coach at Leicester City, and a former Arsenal defender, Toure has been well-travelled on our shores.

He signed for Man City, as the revolution under Sheikh Mansour was beginning, in 2009 for £15million, and would win the league with the club in 2012.

After 102 appearances he signed for Liverpool in 2013 on a free transfer, but never won any major honours.

He was released in 2016 after 71 appearances and snapped up by Celtic, where he would win a league and cup double.


David James

It's fair to say James provided a stellar service to both clubs.

He was snapped up by Liverpool from Watford in 1992 for £1million and appeared 277 times for them – winning the League Cup in 1995.

After spells at Aston Villa and West Ham, where he would begin to establish himself as England's No1, he signed for Man City for an undisclosed fee to replace David Seaman in 2003.

A century of appearances later he moved to Portsmouth, where he would win the FA Cup and become a hero.


Steve McManaman

McManaman came through the ranks at Anfield to become a legend – making 364 appearances and scoring 66 goals.

It was just a pity he played during their famous 'Spice Boys' era, otherwise he might've had more medals to show other than an FA Cup and League Cup.

Still, a move to Real Madrid allowed Macca to win LaLiga and the Champions League twice.

He moved to Man City in 2003, however niggling injuries saw him labelled one of the club's worst ever free transfer signings by Manchester Evening News. He appeared just 44 times and failed to break his duck.


Mario Balotelli

The enigma that is Balotelli was loved by the fans at Man City, but loathed my management for off-the pitch antics.

The man, famous for asking 'Why Always Me' on a T-shirt after scoring in the Manchester derby in response to his critics, signed for City in 2010 for £20million.

He would win the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012, but ultimately prove to frustrate and was sold to AC Milan.

Balotelli would return to our shores in 2014 – signing for the Reds for £16million to replace the departing Luis Suarez.

But, it proved to be a disastrous move – and he would score just four goals in 28 games before departing for Nice.

Now 31, he plays for Turkish side Adana Demirspor.


Robbie Fowler

'God' as he was affectionately christened by the Kop was another who came through the ranks at Anfield.

He scored 183 goals in 369 games across two spells at Liverpool – winning various trophies, including the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup,and Super Cup.

But before he rejoined Liverpool in 2005, there was a spell at Man City that began in 2002 when he joined from Leeds for around £6million.

Injuries were his biggest problem, although he did manage a 12-goal season in 2004-2005.


Nicolas Anelka

Bursting on to the scene with Arsenal as a teenager, Anelka would move to Real Madrid, flop, then go to PSG to discover his form.

In 2001, Liverpool got the French striker on loan – but he didn't do enough to convince manager Gerard Houllier to offer him a permanent deal.

Man City, though, thought they could get a tune out of him in 2002 – paying £13million for his services from.

And they weren't wrong – across three seasons he scored 45 goals in 103 games.


James Milner

Mr Reliable – Milner never let Man City down and continues to be Liverpool's unsung hero at 36.

It was at the Etihad he starred at from 2010 to 2015, making 203 appearances, following a £26million move from Aston Villa.

The midfielder would win the Premier League twice, as well as an FA Cup before embarking on a new challenge with Liverpool, who scored a bargain free transfer.

Milner has been instrumental in Liverpool's recent successes, adding another Premier League title and a Champions League medal to his honours.


Dietmar Hamann

The German midfielder, famous for scoring the last goal at Wembley before it was demolished and rebuilt, clocked up 280 appearances for Liverpool from 1999-2006.

In that time, he won a Champions League and UEFA Cup, as well as the FA Cup and League Cup twice.

At 33, perhaps past his prime, he joined City and gave them good service with 71 appearances across three seasons.

Today, Hamann is a media commentator.


Craig Bellamy

In 2006 Bellamy agreed a deal to Liverpool for £6million, after a brilliant campaign with Blackburn.

His time at the club was blighted by scandal, when he was involved in a fight with team-mate John Arne Riise.

When Riise went to his hotel room before a crucial Champions League match with Barcelona, Bellamy followed him and attacked his team-mate with a golf club.

Bellamy would go on to score in that game and celebrate enthusiastically by swinging an imaginary golf club.

In 2009, following some time with West Ham, he was reunited with Mark Hughes at Man City in a £14million deal.

But, competition for places saw him frozen out and loaned to Cardiff City.

Incredibly, he would return to Anfield in 2011 for one season as a squad player under Kenny Dalglish.


Daniel Sturridge

Man City fans never got to the see the best of Sturridge.

He came through the youth ranks and was the club's Young Player of the Year, but when his contract expired in 2009 he moved to Chelsea.

Sturridge failed to make the grade at Stamford Bridge, and a loan to Bolton helped him discover his form.

In 2013, he joined Liverpool in a £12million move and his career exploded.

Partnering Luis Suarez, the pair were lethal. Sturridge would fly in his first full season with the club – scoring 24 goals in competitions.

Injuries took their toll, and his form soon dipped.

He was released in 2019, and signed for Turks Trabzonspor after a betting scandal in which he allegedly asked his brother to put a bet on him joining Sevilla.

Today, Sturridge plays his football in Australia for Perth Glory.


Albert Riera

Perhaps the forgotten man, Spanish midfielder Riera had a loan spell at Man City in 2006.

However, he didn't pull up any trees – scoring once in 19 games and returned back to parent club Espanyol.

Liverpool were impressed though, and on transfer deadline day paid £8million to sign him.

Unhappy with the club, he ended up getting suspended after voicing his displeasure with boss Rafa Benitez's management style.

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In 2010, he signed for Olympiacos for £5million and won the Greek title. He would then become a hero at Galatasaray, winning the Turkish league twice.

Riera is now Gala's assistant manager.


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