Manchester City stunned the Premier League world in 2008 when they splashed the cash to sign an exciting Brazilian talent such as Robinhofrom Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid. The Citizens paid a record fee to sign Robinho from Real Madrid at a time when they were not one of the big teams either in the Premier League or in Europe. The Robinho transfer was a statement signing from Manchester City at the time. Robinho moved from Real Madrid to Manchester City on the final day of the 2008 summer transfer window. He signed a four-year deal to become a Manchester City player on September 1, 2008 in a deal reported to be around £32.5m. Chelsea wanted to sign the Brazilian but Manchester City were never going to pass up the opportunity to make a statement signing with the Robinho transfer. According to Robinho, the presence of fellow Brazilians Elano and Jo played a big part in him leaving Real Madrid for the Premier League.

Robinho made an instant impact as he scored on his debut for Manchester City. The Brazilian scored the only Manchester City goal in the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at home. Robinho would go on to score his first hattrick in the Premier League in the colours of Manchester City over a month after his transfer to the club. His first European goal for Manchester City came in the UEFA Cup and it was against Dutch team FC Twente. In his first season in the Premier League, Robinho finished with 14 goals thus making him the topscorer for Manchester City and the fourth topscorer in the Premier League. Robinho suffered with injuries in his second season at Manchester City and was restricted to just 12 matches before he asked for a loan back to boyhood club Santos. Robinho scored once in his second season at the Etihad Stadium. He would go on to join AC Milan in a £15m deal in the summer of 2010 after rejecting the advances from Turkish teams like Fenerbahce and Beskitas.