Manchester City's new Brazilian signing Maicon is synonymous with two things: winning a sublime treble (Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia) under Jose Mourinho in 2010, and for being brushed aside by Tottenham's Gareth Bale when Inter played the North Londoner's the following season in Europe's premier club competition.
Following those performances against Spurs, a number of football commentators wrote Maicon off. To be fair though, the decline at San Siro post-Mourinho was club-wide. Inter have seen several coaches come and go, Rafael Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini and Claudio Ranieri have all been through the revolving door as the Nerazzurri saw financial restructuring hamper real efforts to keep their competitiveness across the European spectrum.
Maicon developed into the best right-back in the world
However, after winning so many titles, including a unique quintuple in 2010 - the treble plus Italian Super Cup and Club World Cup - the time for Maicon to leave Inter came during this summer's transfer window. But, at City, he reunites with Roberto Mancini, the coach who signed him for the Italians from Monaco in 2006.
Under both Mancini and Mourinho at Inter, Maicon developed into the best right-back in the world; and the fact that he has now signed for City shows he is not 'finished' as some have said. He has signed for one of the biggest teams in world football and Mancini has picked him for a reason. Let’s not forget the Brazilian was also strongly linked with a big move to Real Madrid, and he was close to joining Mourinho at the Bernabeu last year.
If (Maicon) replicates his previous form then City will be unstoppable
At City, he has a real chance to rediscover his form and win titles. It's fair to say Mancini's men are the team to beat this season in England. They are the current Premier League champions and favourites - just about - to retain their crown. Maicon has gone from playing in a Europa League side to competing in the 'Group of Death' in the Champions League where he will square up to former coach Mourinho against Real Madrid in just over two weeks.
Of course, only time will tell if the right-back meets his Premier League challenge. If he replicates his previous form then City will be unstoppable. On his day Maicon brings so much to a team like Mancini's and both his defensive and attacking prowess will complement their style of play. The Italian coach has asked for more goals across the field this season and Maicon will no doubt help stop them being scored at one end and assist in producing them at the other. Whatever happens though, he will definitely have another chance to test himself against Bale when Spurs meet City in November- a challenge he will relish.
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