Saturday 19 October 2019

Kompany acknowledges ‘irony’ as injury rules him out of his own testimonial

The 33-year-old has a hamstring problem.

Vincent Kompany is to miss his own Manchester City farewell through injury (Nick Potts/PA)
Vincent Kompany is to miss his own Manchester City farewell through injury (Nick Potts/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Vincent Kompany’s poor luck with injuries has struck again, ruling the former Manchester City captain out of his own testimonial.

The four-time Premier League winner was due to say farewell to the club by playing in a star-studded friendly at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

But, much in keeping with the latter half of his City career, the defender has been curtailed by a muscular problem, this time a hamstring issue.

Kompany, who left City at the end of last season to take up the role of player-manager at Anderlecht, missed 152 games during his 11 years at the club.

The 33-year-old said: “Unfortunately I won’t be starting or even playing. It’s typical of me! I have a slight hamstring injury so I couldn’t risk it, unfortunately.

“But there are still plenty of awesome players to be watching and, anyway, it is about a celebration. To say goodbye, it doesn’t need to be on the pitch.

“In the same way I would like to say we are doing it for an unbelievable cause, and that takes priority for me.

“I’ll be there for David Silva’s testimonial, or (Sergio Aguero) Kun’s! For me not to play this game because of an injury, the irony surely does not escape anyone.”

Kompany enjoyed a glittering career at City after moving to Manchester from Hamburg in 2008. He won 10 major honours and left after helping them win the domestic treble last season.

All that will be remembered as the club pay tribute at the game. City have also announced that the road that connects the youth and community pitches at their training complex will be renamed Vincent Kompany Cresent “in recognition of his unrivalled achievements and contribution to the club”. A mosaic of Kompany has also been erected and a sculpture is to follow.

For Kompany, though, the main priority from his testimonial was to raise money for his homelessness charity Tackle4MCR.

For that, he is pleased that so many old rivals – ex-Manchester United players such as Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Robin Van Persie and Michael Carrick – have offered to play as a City XI face a Premier League All Stars team.

Kompany said: “We are specifically dealing with homelessness in Greater Manchester. You can’t have a successful project without Manchester United involved. We have our differences – that is clear – but if we can get together for these sort of events the city is stronger.”

Other players set to feature include Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas, as well as a host of past and present City stars, including Silva and Aguero.

Kompany’s summer exit has left the Premier League champions with one fewer specialist central defender.

With Aymeric Laporte now facing a lengthy spell out injured, the lack of cover could be exposed in the coming months but Kompany is confident Pep Guardiola’s team will cope.

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Aymeric Laporte is facing a spell on the sidelines (Nick Potts/PA)

He said: “By losing Laporte you lose a big player. You need big players in the bigger games but the key strength of this Manchester City team is relying more on the system than the individuals.

“I don’t see City weakening. Pep is way too aware of this danger to let it happen.”

At a press conference to preview the testimonial, Kompany was also asked who he felt was the best defender ever to have played in the Premier League.

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Kompany is a big admirer of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk (Adam Davy/PA)

His surprise answer was Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk.

Kompany said: “I go back to players that really impressed me when I played against them. I would bring it back to Virgil Van Dijk.

“From what I have seen on having an impact on a team – and being a defender is never about yourself, it’s how you make your team more solid – Liverpool before Van Dijk and after him, it is a completely different set-up.”

PA Media

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