Roberto Mancini's side smashed the Red Devils in the early stages of last season before pipping them to Premier League title success on the final day, and provide a six-strong contingent on our illustrious rundown as a result.
| THE GOAL.COM 50: POSITIONS 50-4
|Our definitive countdown of the finest players from 2011-12 has commenced. Click here to view our slideshow of the stars who ranked 50-4 in our list!|
Elsewhere, this year's list contains representatives from many different countries and continents after a memorable season of football action worldwide.
Goal.com Managing Editor Amar Singh said: "The Goal.com 50 is now in its fifth year and has always been determined by our editors all over the world voting for their top players.
"But this year we were particularly pleased to see a more diverse range of stars on the list. Recognition for the likes of Chris Katongo, who led Zambia to a memorable win at the African Cup of Nations to Fulham's Clint Dempsey - one of the best players to emerge from North America - shows that footballing talent is no longer the preserve of the traditional hotbeds of Europe and South America."
Chelsea duo Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba both make the top 10 after their Champions League success, whilst City's Yaya Toure is also selected following a hugely impressive season that saw him play a key role as his side won the title for the first time in 44 years.
New arrivals to England, Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud and Shinji Kagawa all make the list but are not classed as Premier League players as they were not plying their trade in the country last season.
With the countdown from 50-4 now complete, Goal.com's top three players of the 2011-12 season will be revealed on Tuesday. Stay tuned!
|WHO WILL TOP THIS YEAR'S LIST?