The man, the myth, the legend...

The man, the myth, the legend...

Throughout City's European campaigns, there have been some truly unforgettable games.

Who could forget the stunning 3-2 comeback triumph over Bayern Munich? The sensational 5-3 victory over Monaco? *That* night against Hamburg... The list goes on.

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How about the 2010/11 Europa League visit of Red Bull Salzburg? A little harder to recall...? Well, one man who will never forget that night is striker Alan Douglas Borges de Carvalho - affectionately known as 'Alan'.

On a bitterly cold night at the Etihad Stadium, a blizzard scattered but those who braved the conditions were warmed by a dominant City performance, which secured progression to the knock-out stages.

In true City fan humour, the Blue faithful spurred to make the best of a testing situation in the snow in typically comical fashion, and were thawed by laughter just before the hour with the introduction of a man who will forever live on in Club folklore.

Poor Alan must have wondered what on Earth was happening when he entered the field to replace Simon Cziommer - to a loud cheer from the home crowd.

As it stood in stark contrast to his Salzburg counterparts, it was the striker's nickname which had caused such hilarity, with 'Alan' of course a very popular English moniker. The announcement of his introduction came as a surprise and admired for their humour, the City fans absolutely loved it.

From then on, chants of "Alan, Alan, give us a wave!", "We love you, Alan, we do" and perhaps most amusingly, "Alan is Superman!" were belted out from the stands, as the home supporters enjoyed themselves.

Every touch was greeted with acclaim and every venture forward encouraged shouts of "Shoot!" but Alan himself seemed blissfully unaware of the uproar he'd caused. After all, he'd become a cult hero - and he hadn't even done anything!

After the game, when informed of the events, the Salzburg man was surprised but very grateful for his support.

“I’d just like to thank the City fans for the reception they gave me,” he said.

"I appreciate the affection and all the support you’ve all shown me. I love you guys!"

The fondness remains strong to this day and for reasons unknown to him (and perhaps anyone else!), Alan will always have a special connection with City.

Later that season, the forward even took the time out to wish the City fans a Merry Christmas...

...and send Roberto Mancini's men a message of good luck for our 2011 FA Cup Final against Stoke - and those well wishes proved fruitful as of course, we lifted our first piece of major silverware for 35 years with a 1-0 Wembley win.

What a man. We love you, Alan. We do!