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City DNA #113: Glauber Berti

His City career may have lasted all of ten minutes – but that was still enough to secure this particular individual both a man-of-the-match award and a place in City folklore.

The quirky tale of Glauber Berti is the stuff of legend – and as quintessential a City story as you could wish for.

A Brazilian left back, Glauber joined the Club in the summer of 2008, moving to City on the same day as Pablo Zabaleta – just 24 hours before the transformative takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

He arrived in Manchester armed with considerable experience.

Glauber had begun his career in his native Brazil with Atletico Miniero before then joining Palmerias.


He was to spend more than 18 months with the Sao Paulo powerhouses, earning a Brazil cap during that time, before moving to Europe to join German outfit FC Nuremberg, initially on loan.

His impressive performances led to a permanent move with Glauber going on to help Nuremberg to lift the German Cup in 2007.

Following their subsequent relegation from the Bundesliga, Berti joined a cavalcade of incoming talent assembled by manager Mark Hughes that helped bolster the City squad during that historic summer of 2008.

“It was a remarkable time in my life. I always remember it with my friends and everyone who asks about my career,” Glauber recalled.

“It was remarkable for me and also for Manchester City.

“The Club was in a beginning of a revolution and it was an important opportunity for me to join a big Club that was well now worldwide.

“City was a remarkable place to be. I don’t think I ever experienced such a nice, welcoming dressing room. There was a lot of happiness and we all enjoyed playing football together.”

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However, though happy in what he found a positive and rewarding environment, professionally, it was to prove a frustrating time for Glauber.

With manager Hughes having worked overtime in the transfer market reinforcing the City squad, it meant that competition for places had become even more fierce.

Twenty times Glauber was named as a City substitute…and on 20 occasions Glauber was never once summoned from the bench.

Yet despite his personal frustration at not being afforded any game time, as former City skipper Vincent Kompany attests, Glauber never once let his professional standards drop.

“At the time, for so many reasons, it was difficult for him to get in the squad,” Vinny recalled.

“His level was really good, and he was a Brazilian international but sometimes there are seasons like this.”

"Every training session I played it like a game. The guys were saying: ‘Glauber, you have potential, why don’t you play?’,” Berti added.

"I just waited for my opportunity. It was a really difficult time because I expected to play, but I never stopped trying, I never gave up.

“I trained hard all the time to respect my teammates and fight for my opportunity."

Memorably, that opportunity finally came knocking on the final day of the 2008/9 season with City signing off the campaign at home to Bolton Wanderers.

With City 1-0 up and closing in on victory, the Etihad once again clamoured for Glauber to be given his moment to shine.

Finally, with less than 10 minutes left, Hughes answered the call and a huge roar erupted around the ground as Berti came on for his long-awaited debut in place of Wayne Bridge.

Emotion and sentiment helped ensure that Glauber was subsequently awarded the man of the match honours.

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Suddenly Glauber was the centre of attention – and it was a moment that was to become etched in Club folklore.

“I remember the fans always shouted ‘Glauber, Glauber’!,” Berti added.

“That 10 minutes was wonderful as every time I touched the ball the fans cheered and chanted my name. I will never forget it.”

It was to prove the sweetest but shortest of moments for Glauber.

With another summer of frenzied transfer activity underway, the Brazilian subsequently moved on from City in the summer of 2009 to embark on new challenges that, initially, took him back to Brazil with Sao Caetano.

He then returned to Europe with Romanian side Rapid Buceristi, spending three years in the East European capital before finally ending his career in the American MLS with Columbus Crew, eventually retiring from the sport in 2013.

It’s clear though that his twelve months in Manchester – in particular those precious 10 minutes on the Etihad – struck a deep and lasting emotional chord with Berti.

“It was a remarkable time in my life and I always remember it with my friends and everybody who asks about my career,” Glauber reflects.

“It was a wonderful time in my career at City and it helped me grow as a person.”

A proper Bert-i indeed!

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