Image courtesy of mcfc.co.uk
Samba fever gripped Manchester as Seleção men Elano, Robinho, Jo and Giovanni spear-headed the attack of MCFC. But it was one Brazilian, signed on a free transfer to little media attention, who truly gained cult status. It was the mystery surrounding Berti Gláuber which first attracted the City faithful, just who was this unknown defender?
The man known as Berti would make over 20 appearances on the City bench, but for one reason or another manager, manager Mark Hughes was reluctant to feature the defender in the first team.
On the final day of the 2008/2009 season, with the team comfortably beating Bolton Wanderers, Berti Gláuber made his one and only appearance for Manchester City. Finally leaving his regular position on the substitutes’ bench, Berti arrived to a standing ovation and chants of “there’s only one Berti Gláuber”. The time flew by as Berti played out the remaining six minutes.
Post-game, the City manager commented on the fan reaction the left-back received.
"He got a really great reception! I've not been able to give him the opportunities that maybe I would have liked, but I thought that today was a chance to do that."
His contract expired shortly after, but for every fan in the City of Manchester Stadium on that fateful day, his memory will live on.