ESPN Brasil today features an interview with former Manchester City defender Glauber Berti, who played for the club in the 2008/09 season.
Young fans probably haven’t seen a lot from the player, since he made only one appearance in his time for the Premier League side. But that’s exactly the reason why he was so famous at that time.
“I became the guys’ cult hero (laughs). The fans even called me ‘The Invisible Man’, because I used to go to the bench in most games and I wouldn’t get in,” Glauber told ESPN Brasil.
“Boy, City’s TV was recently in my city, Nhandeara, near São José do Rio Preto, at my house, to do a story with me. Kompany and Zabaleta talked about me, it’s very nice to have this affection. Then the reporter asked the fans about me and they remembered, they said I was an idol, it’s crazy (laughs).”
Glauber says the reason why Manchester City fans like him was because they saw his efforts, even though he wouldn’t be used by Mark Hughes.
“The crowd that went to training saw that I was working hard, but when it looked like I was going to play it didn’t work. They started to question the coach a lot about it. The pressure was so great that he ended up putting me in (laughs). The match was wonderful, I still remember it today. It was a mess whenever they saw me, they always asked to take a picture, it’s awesome! Even today if you say my name there they remember me.”
Glauber’s debut was made in the last game of the season, when Manchester City beat Bolton 1-0. He replaced Wayne Bridge in the 86th minute, and still, ESPN points out that he was chosen by a BBC poll as man of the match.
“And then I came in (laughs)! I was so happy, because I trained very hard to get to that moment. The team always joked that they wanted to have the same feeling with the fans that I had.”
Glauber left Manchester City that summer as a free agent. He later played in Brazil for São Caetano, in Romania for Rapid 1923 and in the United States for Colombus Crew, where he retired in 2013.