Premier League cult hero appears to be like unrecognisable 17 years on after turning into supervisor

Manchester City supporters will forever cherish the memories of Elano Blumer.

The former Brazil international was the face of the first wave of signings under the new ownership of former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s in 2007. His dazzling skills and powerful long-range shots were a refreshing change from the lacklustre football that City fans had been subjected to as Stuart Pearce’s time as manager fizzled out.

Elano was among eight new arrivals that summer as City embarked on a new chapter with Sven-Goran Eriksson at the helm. But just as the Brazilian helped transform the club’s image, the City icon now sports a different look from the player that made a rapid start to his Premier League career, 17 years ago.

READ MORE: Man City icon may have played last game for Premier League champions as rivals eye transfer

READ MORE: Premier League pundits’ 2023/24 pre-season predictions – including proper shockers

Since retiring at Santos in 2016, Elano has take up plenty of coaching roles, most recently managing Brazilian club Ferroviaria until June 2023. A recent post on social media reveals the now-42 year old sporting a beard and glasses, while maintaining his curly hair.

He is currently gearing up for a charity match featuring legends Cafu and Ronaldinho, and spearheading other charitable events. Earlier this month, Elano reunited with several of his old Brazil teammates, including ex-AC Milan and Real Madrid star Kaka and Arsenal fan favourite Julio Baptista.

City might have secured an unprecedented fourth consecutive league trophy last weekend, but the 50-cap Brazilian was the player that symbolised a new dawn for the club. Elano registered four goals and five assists in his first 10 league games; a feat that would now be commonplace for the likes of Phil Foden and Erling Haaland, but not that version of City. Elano’s stunning free-kick goal against Newcastle United was the pick of the bunch.

What are your memories from Elano’s time at Manchester City? Tell us in the comments section below

Former Manchester City footballer Elano (top right) with Michel Bastos, Julio Baptista, Miranda and Kaka
Former Manchester City footballer Elano (top right) with Michel Bastos, Julio Baptista, Miranda and Kaka

He quickly became a crowd favourite through his dynamic style of play but both Eriksson and Shinawatra’s tenures proved to be brief. After Sheikh Mansour took the reins at City in 2008, Elano was thrilled to welcome fellow Brazilian Robinho to the squad, but his own importance diminished and he was eventually transferred to Galatasaray in 2009.

“It was an exciting time to come and sign for the club because I knew I was joining something special and I was confident I could help the club grow,” he said. “I took great pride in bringing back some happiness for Manchester City fans.”

Reflecting upon his performances during an interview with CityTV in 2016, Elano noted: “It was a very special moment and I was at the top of my form. Sometimes even now I replay it and watch it through on a DVD of that season. I play it because I miss it. It was really good to live in Manchester and play for City.”

He ended saying: “I regret leaving City… we started this current project. We showed how City were big and had incredible potential.”