City Live a smash hit
- 09 August 2013 00:18
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Over four thousand City fans packed into Manchester Central on Thursday night to kick off the new season in sumptuous style with the mother of all parties – City Live!
The star-studded event was a smash hit, as fans and players gathered together for a groundbreaking music and awards party to celebrate the start of the 2013/14 campaign, sponsored by Vita Student.
A combination of big names from the worlds of football, music and comedy had captured the imagination of fans, and the enthusiasm proved justified from the very start of an incredible evening with a surprise appearance from Shaun Goater!
The Goat kicked off the night by talking the lucky audience through his 100th goal in a City shirt – THAT strike in the Manchester derby.
A sold out to capacity crowd were treated to the first glimpse of City’s newest signings, as Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic made their first Manchester appearances at the extravaganza.
All four were keen to speak to the audience who gave them a rapturous welcome, and the Manchester rain featured prominently in questioning from the evening's host, BT Sport's Jake Humphrey.
Negredo good-humouredly revealed he wasn’t enjoying the weather, to great laughter, while Fernandinho explained he coped with Ukrainian winters by organising barbeques in his garage!
It was obvious that the group were all enjoying their first experiences at the club, and were settling in well.
Navas explained: “It’s great to have Spanish speaking lads around me, but it’s important to know that all the rest of the lads have been going out of their way to help me since I’ve arrived, and we are looking forward to achieving great things together.”
When asked how he felt when he heard that City were interested in signing him, Jovetic said: “I was very excited and very happy. Manchester City is a very good team with big ambitions and I hope that we are going to win many trophies.”
The full City first team squad joined the four newest members on stage, and Vincent Kompany struggled to make himself heard over a raft of City chants.
He said: “I think every single player here is buying into the culture of this club. The sky is the limit. We are working so hard for us to achieve everything.
“Thank you for the support. Even in the bad moments you guys have been here for us and we will never forget it.”
Manuel Pellegrini was also live on stage to speak about the issues that supporters most wanted to hear about. Open, honest and personable, the new boss talked positively about what you can expect from City in the season to come.
“I think we have the best squad in England. We bought four important players, we already had a very good team and with these four players I think we improved a lot," the Chilean revealed.
“We have been working very hard in preseason, and we have another nine days before we start the Premier League. We hope that from the first match against Newcastle at home we will start winning, and we will try to bring another trophy here.”
There was also the opportunity for fans to honour the players' efforts and skill from the last campaign, as the annual awards were handed out.
The loudest cheer of the night was reserved for Etihad Player of the Year, Pablo Zabaleta, but fans raised the roof in appreciation of all their heroes. The Argentinian’s name was sung with enthusiastic gusto before he even appeared on stage!
On collecting his award, Zaba said: “This is a very special moment for me. I have been here for five years at this club and I am very proud to be part of it. I would like to share this award with the fans because they made it possible.
I can guarantee to everyone that we have been working really hard in preseason and we are very hungry for more trophies, and we aim to win something this season.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is great. We wish the new manager and all his staff the very best of luck for the future.”
Sergio Aguero stole the show by speaking to the fans in English, as he attempted to describe his incredible strike against Liverpool, which scooped Goal of the Season.
Yaya Toure, who was handed the EA SPORTS Index Award, and Matija Nastasic, the club's Young Player of the Year, also expressed their pride and delight on receiving the gongs from a stage decorated in gorgeous Blue style.
Exciting developments at the Academy remain integral to the future of the club, and are evidently close to the hearts of many City fans.
City Live gave them the opportunity to recognise and honour the work done at all levels of the club, and Marcos Lopes was on stage to deservedly take home the Academy Player of the Year award, presented by the new Head of the Elite Development Squad, Patrick Vieira.
The awards in full:
Etihad Player of the Year – Pablo Zabaleta
Young Player of the Year – Matija Nastasic
EA SPORTS Index Award – Yaya Toure
Goal of the Season – Sergio Aguero v Liverpool
Academy Player of the Year – Marcos Lopes
In a neat twist on a traditional awards ceremony, live music and comedy was laid on for fans’ enjoyment – and lifelong Blue Jason Manford was a big hit! The funnyman’s 30 minute performance was the perfect addition to the evening.
Music is embedded into the very fabric of the club, and critically-acclaimed rocker Miles Kane rounded the night off with a top set. City Square regular Guitarthur was also getting the crowd going with a rendition of Blue Moon – always a favourite!
By the end of an entertaining evening mouths were truly watering for the start of the new campaign, and fans left thrilled that they had been a part of it.
Hope to see you at the next one!
Vita Student has a UK-wide portfolio of premium city centre developments, including a flagship project in the heart of Manchester. For more information about student property investments or to book your luxury accommodation for the next academic year, visit www.vitastudent.com