From Mario Balotelli to Raheem Sterling - Meet the players who played for both Liverpool and Manchester City

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Players who played for both Manchester City and Liverpool
More than 30 players have played for both Northwest rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

Manchester City and Liverpool started truly competing for the Premier League title in the 2013-14 season, when City pipped Liverpool to the crown by two points on the final day of the season.

Since then, they have built one of the most stunning modern-day rivalries in the Premier League.

A prime example of the extent of their rivalry is the 2018-19 season, when City won the league title by one point on the final day of the campaign by reaching 98 points, as compared to Liverpool's 97. The following season, Liverpool won the title by scoring 99 points, 18 points ahead of Pep Guardiola's men.

Throughout history, some incredible players have appeared for both clubs.

It's now time to find out who they were and what they achieved during their stint at either club.

  1. Jimmy Ross
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    Jimmy Ross

    One of the great strikers of Preston North End's "Invincibles" era between 1883 and 1892, Jimmy Ross scored 85 goals in 130 appearances for them in his 11-year stay at the club before moving to Liverpool in 1894 for a £75 fee.

    At Liverpool, the striker scored 37 goals in 73 appearances over two seasons before moving to Burnley in 1896 and later at Manchester City in 1898, where he scored 21 goals in 67 appearances before ending his professional career after the 1900-01 season due to health issues. He passed away at the age of just 36 in 1902.

    Ross won the Second Division title with both Liverpool and City.

  2. Tommy Johnson
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    Tommy Johnson

    English striker Tommy Johnson began his career with Manchester City in 1919, and in his 11-year stint with them, he scored 166 goals in 354 games.

    Everton recognised his quality and signed him in 1930 for £6,000. He formed an incredible strike partnership with Dixie Dean as Everton won the Second Division Championship in Johnson's first full season at the club. Johnson also featured for the Everton team that won the 1933 FA Cup final against his former team Manchester City.

    In March 1934, he moved to Liverpool and made 36 appearances in his two-year stint at the club, scoring eight goals.

  3. Matt Busby

    Matt Busby

    The legend who led Manchester United as manager through their toughest as well as their most glorious phase, Matt Busby actually featured professionally as a player for both Manchester City and Liverpool.

    Busby won an FA Cup title during his stint with City between 1928 and 1936, comprising of 204 appearances. He then joined Liverpool in 1936 and went on to make 115 appearances for them.

    After his retirement, Liverpool actually offered him the job of an assistant coach at the club, but they were unwilling to give him the control over the first team which he wanted. As a result, he took the vacant manager's job at Manchester United instead and built the famous Busby Babes!

    After the Munich disaster in 1958, which claimed the lives of eight of his players, Busby rebuilt United and won the European Cup a decade later. What a story!

  4. Robbie Fowler

    Robbie Fowler

    Fowler graduated from Liverpool's academy in 1993 and went on to become one of the greatest strikers in the club's history.

    The English striker scored 120 goals 236 appearances for the Reds before moving to Leeds United in 2001.

    Two seasons later, Fowler joined Manchester City in January 2003. He made 80 appearances for City between 2003 and 2006 before returning to Liverpool for a solitary 2006-07 season, scoring eight goals in 30 appearances.

  5. Paul Walsh
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    Paul Walsh

    After successful stints at Charlton Athletic and Luton Town, English forward Paul Walsh arrived at Anfield in 1984.

    In his four seasons with Liverpool, Walsh made 77 appearances, scoring 25 goals and winning the First Division title in the 1985-86 season.

    He left the Reds in 1988 and made moves to Tottenham, QPR (loan) and Portsmouth before joining Manchester City in 1994.

    Walsh made 53 appearances for City, scoring 16 goals.

  6. Steve McMahon

    Steve McMahon

    The first signing made by Kenny Dalglish in his first stint as Liverpool manager in 1985, Steve McMahon replaced Graeme Souness at the club.

    McMahon played a crucial role in guiding Liverpool to the League championship and FA Cup glory in his first season at the club.

    Dalglish brought in new signings like John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton, but McMahon remained in the manager's first team. The midfielder scored memorable goals against Manchester United and Everton as Liverpool won the 1988 League title.

    In all, McMahon won three league titles, two FA Cup trophies and four FA Charity Shields with Liverpool.

    He joined Manchester City in 1991 and made 87 appearances for the Blue half of Manchester until 1994.

  7. Steve McManaman

    Steve McManaman

    One of the most decorated English footballers ever, Steve McManaman featured for Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid in his glorious career.

    The winger graduated from Liverpool's academy in 1990 and went on to make 364 appearances for them, scoring 66 goals.

    He joined Real Madrid in 1999 and became the first English player in the Premier League era to sign for Real Madrid. McManaman was part of the Real Madrid team that won eight trophies and played in 11 cup finals during his four years at the club. During his Madrid stint, the team reached at least the semi-final of the Champions League every single year.

    In 2003, after eight goals in 94 appearances in the Spanish capital, McManaman joined Manchester City and went on to make 35 appearances for them before retiring in 2005.

  8. David Johnson

    David Johnson

    Part of Liverpool's golden generation between 1970 and 1980, David Johnson made 148 appearances for the Reds, scoring 55 goals.

    The striker won four First Division titles, two League Cups, three European Cups and a UEFA Super Cup with Liverpool.

    In 1982, he moved back to Everton for his second stint at the club and played for two years with them, scoring four goals in 40 appearances.

    In 1984, he joined Manchester City for a brief period, making six appearances for the club.

  9. James Milner
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    James Milner

    Premier League veteran James Milner is one of the players who rank among those with the highest appearances for both Liverpool and Manchester City.

    The English midfielder made 147 appearances for City between 2010 and 2015 before joining Liverpool.

    Milner has since then gone on to make more than 200 appearances for Liverpool, achieving the status of a legend at the club.

  10. Raheem Sterling

    Raheem Sterling

    After joining from Queens Park Rangers as a youth, Raheem Sterling graduated from Liverpool's academy before breaking into their first team in 2012.

    Between 2012 and 2015, Sterling made 95 appearances for Liverpool's senior team, scoring 18 goals.

    However, in 2015, a contract dispute with the Reds led to Sterling being signed by cash-rich Manchester City for a record-breaking fee that made him the most expensive English transfer of all time.

    Sterling has since then won multiple Premier League titles and League Cups with Manchester City, before moving to Chelsea at the start of the 2022/23 season.

  11. The rest, from Peter Beardsley to Mario Balotelli

    The rest, from Peter Beardsley to Mario Balotelli

    Peter Beardsley made 131 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 46 goals between 1987 to 1991. He joined City in 1998 and made six appearances for them.

    David James was a cult-hero at Liverpool during his stint at the club between 1992 and 1999. The goalkeeper made 214 appearances for the Reds. He joined Manchester City in 2004 and went on to make 93 appearances for them.

    One of the great Scottish midfielders in the late 1800s, Jim McBride arrived at Liverpool in 1892 and 50 appearances later, he joined Manchester City in 1894. He played 70 games for City.

    Pat Finnerhan was a teammate of Jim McBride at Manchester City between 1894 and 1897. The striker made 85 appearances for City, scoring 27 goals before joining Liverpool in 1897, where he could play just eight games.

    After an underwhelming one season at Liverpool, George Livingstone joined Manchester City in 1903. In his stint at the club, Livingstone scored 19 goals in 81 appearances.

    Augustus Beeby appeared for both Liverpool and Manchester City within a one-year span in 1911-1912. He made just a handful of appearances for both clubs.

    Centre-forward Fred Howe joined Liverpool in 1935 and went on to make 89 appearances for them, scoring 36 goals before joining City in 1938. However, his time at City was only limited to just six appearances.

    Michael Robinson made 30 appearances each for Liverpool and Manchester City. He scored eight goals in his one season with City in 1979-80, before a single-season spell at Liverpool in 1983-84, when he scored six times.

    A product of Liverpool's youth academy, Mark Seagraves failed to make a single senior appearance for Liverpool between 1983 and 1987 before City signed him. In his three-year stint with City, the defender made 42 appearances.

    After a legendary spell with Blackpool, Paul Stewart joined Manchester City in 1987 and made 51 appearances for them, scoring 26 goals. He then joined Tottenham before arriving at Liverpool in 1992. In his four-year stint at Anfield, Stewart made just 32 appearances, scoring just three goals.

    Nigel Clough made 39 appearances each for Liverpool and Manchester City between 1993 and 1998. He scored seven goals at Liverpool and just four goals at City.

    After an underwhelming spell at Liverpool between 1995 and 1998, Mark Kennedy moved to QPR on loan before permanently signing for Wimbledon. One season later, the wing-back was signed by Manchester City. In his two-year spell at City, Kennedy made 66 appearances, scoring eight goals.

    Dietmar Hamann made 191 appearances for Liverpool, winning the iconic Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 after an incredible comeback against Milan. He joined City in 2006 and made 54 appearances in his three-year spell at the club.

    French striker Nicolas Anelka arrived at Liverpool on loan from PSG in the 2001-02 season. He scored four goals in 20 appearances before Manchester City decided to sign him permanently. In his three seasons at City, Anelka scored 37 goals in 89 appearances.

    With two rather underwhelming spells at Liverpool and City, Scott Carson made just four appearances in three seasons for Liverpool between 2005 and 2008. He joined Manchester City on loan between 2019 and 2021 and made one appearance before signing for them permanently. Carson has since then not made a single appearance for City.

    Albert Riera joined Manchester City on loan from Espanyol in 2006 for one season. He made 15 appearances for them that season. In 2008, Liverpool signed the winger for £8 million. He made 40 appearances for the Reds in his two seasons at the club.

    Craig Bellamy had two spells at Liverpool sandwiched between his time at Manchester City. He signed for Liverpool first in 2006 and stayed for just a solitary season in which he scored seven goals in 27 appearances. He moved to West Ham in 2007 before Manchester City signed him in 2009. After 40 appearances for City, Bellamy joined Liverpool again for a season in 2011-12, scoring six goals in 27 games.

    A product of Manchester City's youth academy, Daniel Sturridge graduated and made 21 appearances for City's senior team between 2006 and 2009 before joining Chelsea. After another four seasons with the Blues, Sturridge arrived at Liverpool. In his six years at Anfield, the English forward scored 50 goals in 116 appearances.

    Arsenal legend Kolo Toure was signed as one of Manchester City's star players during the initial days of the club's new ownership. He made 229 appearances for City before Liverpool signed him in 2013. Toure made just 46 appearances in his three-year spell at Anfield.

    Mario Balotelli arrived at Manchester City after making a name for himself at Inter as one of the greatest young prospects of the game. He stayed at City for three seasons in a controversial spell that saw him make 54 appearances and score 20 goals. He left in 2013 and joined Milan before returning to the Premier League with Liverpool in 2014. Balotelli played one season at Liverpool, making 16 appearances, and scoring a solitary goal.

    Manchester City signed Loris Karius in July 2009. He played for the under-18 and the under-21 City teams, but did not make a senior appearance during his time in Manchester. Karius joined Mainz in 2012 and after impressive performances at senior level for four years at the club, Liverpool signed him in 2016 and made him their new number-one. However, his move was largely unsuccessful as he made two loan spells (Besiktas for two seasons and Union Berlin for one season) during his six-year stay at the club. Newcastle United signed him in the summer of 2022 until January 2023.