Eriksson tips Elano to be Man City great

The Brazil international delivered a footballing masterclass at Eastlands this afternoon, playing a major role in one Manchester City goal, then rocketing home another as the Blues maintained their 100% home record with a 3-1 win over Newcastle.

Eriksson plucked Elano from relative obscurity at Shakhtar Donetsk during the early weeks of his stint as City boss and already the £8million fee is looking like a major bargain.

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Elano's silky skills and sumptuous passing game were too much for the Magpies and, as Eriksson observed, the 25-yard free-kick that flew into the top corner of returning keeper Shay Given's goal four minutes from time was total perfection.

"It is impossible to hit the free-kick any better than that," enthused Eriksson. "A centimetre either way and it hits the bar or the post.

"Elano is a great footballer. He can do a little bit of everything. I have worked with other top-class creative players in the past; people like Baggio and Mancini, but he is right up there with them."

Eriksson revealed he spoke to Brazil coach Dunga - who played under the Swede at Fiorentina - before making his move for the 26-year-old, who has not disappointed in City's electrifying start to the season.

"When he came here, he was not physically 100%," said Eriksson.

"He was a long way off because he hadn't done anything after the Copa America until he joined us.

"But now he is getting physically stronger and getting better and better.

"Every time he gets the ball you have the feeling something will happen."

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