Attacking left-back with a thunderbolt of a shot
Aleksandar Kolarov, nicknamed the 'Serbian Roberto Carlos', joined City from Lazio in July 2010 as an attacking left-back with a reputation for spectacular goals.
Born in November 1985 in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, Aleks began his career in 2004 at FK Cukaricki Stankom before moving to OFK Beograd in 2006, both in his homeland.
But after just one season at OFK Beograd, Aleks was sold to Serie A giants Lazio in September 2007. He made an instant impression, scoring with a thunderous effort from around 40 yards out on his full debut against Reggina.
His two years at the Stadio Olimpico occasionally saw Aleks operate on the left side of midfield, and he made two appearances for his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa just before making his move to City.
Aleks’ first season with the Blues ended with the Serb helping end a 35-year wait for silverware through a memorable FA Cup triumph over Stoke, Aleks having played in every round including the final at Wembley.
The following campaign saw Aleks play a big part in City’s Premier League title drive, his late equaliser against Sunderland securing a point that would prove vital when the league was claimed on goal difference.
2012-13 found Aleks vying more and more with Gael Clichy for the left-back berth, a pattern that continued under Manuel Pellegrini in the following season. Despite the competition with the French defender, Aleks played his part to claim a second Premier League winners’ medal as well as the Capital One Cup.
Aleks has continued to battle with Clichy for the left-back spot in subsequent seasons as well as contributing the odd trademark goal, such as a brilliant strike at Bournemouth in April 2016.
He’s also become an unlikely star of social media – his deadpan reading of “Jingle bells” on YouTube went viral at Christmas 2013, and a year later he followed it up with an unforgettable rendition of “Santa Claus is coming to town”. Both truly have to be seen (and heard) to be believed…