Friday 18 October 2019

Vincent Kompany to leave Manchester City and become player-manager at Anderlecht

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Manchester City's Vincent Kompany celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Tony Considine

Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany is to leave the club after a trophy-laden spell lasting 11 years.

Kompany has announced that he will become player-manager of Anderlecht, the club with whom he began his professional career. The 33-year-old joined the Brussels outfit at the age of six and his career has now come full circle.

"I choose to be grateful for the past but remain ambitious and driven for the future. For the next three years, I will take up the role of player-manager of Anderlecht. Belgium's finest," he wrote in a letter to fans on Facebook.

"This may come as a surprise to you. It's the most passionate yet rational decision I've ever made."

Kompany disclosed that he had met with Anderlecht chairman Marc Coucke and sporting director Michael Verschueren last summer.

"I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to number one," he explained.

"I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it."

He was then offered the player-manager job in the past few weeks.

"I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations. With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium," he finished, adding a hint that he may have designs on managing at the Ethiad in the future.

"This is no goodbye. It's a see you later."

An earlier statement on Manchester City's website had confirmed his depatrure on Sunday morning. The Belgian centre-hlaf played 360 times and scored 20 goals including a vital winner against Leicester during this season's run-in that helped secure his fourth league title. He has also won two FA Cups, four League Cups and two Community Shields.

His final game for City saw him captian the side to a record-equalling 6-0 FA Cup win over Watford which secured a first ever domestic treble in English football.

Speaking on the club's official website, Kompany had said: "As overwhelming as it is, the time has come for me to go. And what a season to bow out. I feel nothing but gratefulness. I am grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey, at a very special club. I remember the first day, as clear as I see the last. I remember the boundless kindness I received from the people of Manchester.

"I will never forget how all Man City supporters remained loyal to me in good times and especially bad times. Against the odds you have always backed me and inspired me to never give up.

"Sheikh Mansour changed my life and that of all the City fans around the world, for that I am forever grateful. A blue nation has arisen and challenged the established order of things, I find that awesome.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak also confirmed that there will be a testimonial for Kompany next September, adding: "There have been many important contributors to Manchester City’s renaissance, but arguably none are more important than Vincent Kompany.

"He defines the essence of the club. For a decade he has been the lifeblood, the soul, and beating heart of a supremely talented squad.

"A booming voice in the dressing room yet a quiet and measured ambassador off it, Vincent can be as proud of himself as we are of him.

"I am not sure he expected to lift the Premier League trophy on four occasions during his captaincy but he will be remembered and revered whenever this period of unprecedented City success is spoken about by future generations.

"His leadership, intelligence and determination have seen him adapt brilliantly to playing under four different managers and overcome some debilitating injuries. He is a special character who has answered every demand the club has made of him.

"We now look forward to celebrating his testimonial match in September so that we can properly celebrate his City contribution. He will always be part of the City family."

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