Glauber Berti - Manchester City's Beloved Brazilian

Glauber Berti - Manchester City's Beloved Brazilian
13:50, 12 Jul 2017

Ask any Manchester City fan who their favourite Brazilian footballer is and the answer is always the same.

It isn’t (the once) record signing Robinho, or even Elano or Fernandinho, but is instead a man who played less than 10 minutes of football in a sky blue shirt during the 2008-09 season.

Gláuber Leandro Honorato Berti managed to be named on City’s bench 20 consecutive times in his solitary season at the club before being given his 10 minutes of fame.

Fans had begun to think there may be something of the Carlos Kaiser about the mystical full back affording him cult status to this day.

A free transfer the day before City became the richest club in the world, Berti cut a melancholy figure on the side lines, never quite coming to terms with the vast changes that occurred at City in the weeks that followed.

But the ovation he received upon coming on to the pitch in the final game of the season was incredible, cheered more so than City’s goal in the 1-0 win.

Berti told the Manchester Evening News:  “Even before I came on the pitch the fans were shouting ‘Glauber! Glauber!’ I had waited for the opportunity the entire year, but it never came. In my opinion, when you have the opportunity and, for some reason, it doesn’t go well, that’s OK, but I never got the opportunity.

“Every game the fans asked for me to come in. I think what I wanted to transmit to my manager, the fans did for me in the end, like ‘Where is Glauber?’

“That 10 minutes were wonderful because every time I touched the ball the fans shouted my name. It was a really nice thing. It became a bit funny because the more I wanted to play, the more the fans wanted to see me play.”

Berti made his name in Brazil with Atlético Mineiro before moving to Germany with FC Nürnberg, where he also won a solitary cap for his national side. After things did not work out at City he returned to his homeland with São Caetano before returning to Europe where he played three seasons in Romania with Rapid Bucureşti. He finished his career in the USA with Columbus Crew.

But nowhere will he be more fondly remembered than in Manchester thanks to his cult status achieved through being the ‘invisible man.’