Manchester City: What happened to the three Thai players they signed in 2007?

In 2007, Man City signed three players from Thailand...

After buying Manchester City in 2007, former prime minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra targeted ‘world domination’ with the team.

Sven-Goran Eriksson was hired as manager and around £40m was spent on new players, with the new arrivals including Martin Petrov, Geovanni, Elano and Rolando Bianchi.

Shinawatra’s dreams of world domination sadly didn’t materialise as City finished the 2007/08 season ninth in the Premier League table.

Following the conclusion of that campaign, the club was sold to Sheikh Mansour, bringing an end to a chaotic year in City’s history.

Shinawatra simply didn’t have the knowledge of the sport required to take City to the next level and he made a host of questionable calls during his short time in charge of the English club.

One of those was the decision to sign three players from his homeland in 2007.

The three footballers in question were Teerasil Dangda, Suree Sukha and Kiatprawut Saiwaeo, with not a single one of them making an appearance for City‘s first-team.

Due to Thailand’s lowly FIFA ranking, none of the trio even qualified for a work permit and they were restricted to just one appearance in a City shirt.

That came in a friendly match against a Thai League All-Stars XI in May 2008 a, a game they lost 3-1.

The three Thai players who signed for City

So what happened next after their one and only game in City’s colours? Well, let’s find out…

Teerasil Dangda

Dangda has actually enjoyed a pretty successful career.

He’s thrived on the international stage too, scoring 45 goals in 104 games for the Thai national team.

The 32-year-old striker had a short, unsuccessful loan spell with Swiss side Grasshoppers in 2008, after which he returned to his homeland with Raj Pracha.

Dangda was on the move again in 2009, signing for Muangthong United where he won a plethora of trophies, including four Thai Premier League titles.

He did play in Europe again after joining Almeria on loan in 2014, but he made just 10 appearances for the Spanish side before returning to Muangthong in 2015.

Dangda currently plays for BG Pathum United in the Thai top-flight, scoring once in his first four appearances for the club.

Dangda in action

Suree Sukha

Sukha joined Dangda in signing for Grasshoppers on loan and like his fellow countryman, he failed to play a single minute for the Swiss side’s first-team.

The defender returned to Thailand in 2009, where he played for Chonburi, Buriram United, Ubon UMT United, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol and Muangkan United.

With Buriram, Sukha won three Thai Premier League titles, two Thai FA Cups and two Thai League Cups.

Following a brief loan spell at Kanchanaburi in 2020, the 38-year-old announced his retirement.

As well as his honours at club level, Sukha bowed out of the sport with 68 appearances and two goals for the Thai national team to his name.

Sukha in action

Kiatprawut Saiwaeo

Saiwaeo sadly had to retire from the sport in 2018 at the age of just 32 because of consistent problems with his knee.

The centre-back was loaned out to Club Brugge in 2008, but he failed to make an impact with the Belgian side.

He promptly returned to Thailand after being released by City in 2009, spending time at Chonburi, Chiangrai United and Police Tero.

Prior to his premature retirement, Saiwaeo made 36 appearances for the Thai national team, playing in five World Cup qualifier games.

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