Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City and Belgian legend has decided to hang up his boots as a professional footballer and plans to concentrate on the managerial role for his boyhood club RSC Anderlecht. A legend in a true sense, as he was one of the reasons behind the ‘Rise of the Blue Moon’ on the blue half of Manchester and also for his country, Belgium, to establish its name among the elites of World Football in the last decade. We’ll have a look back on the exuberant career of one of the greatest centre-backs of the modern era.
Early Life and Youth Career
Born on 10th April, 1986 in a small town named Uccle in Brussels, Vincent Kompany began his youth career in the youth system of Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht in 2000. He played for the reserves side for three years and after producing solid performance at the back, He was promoted to the senior side at the age of 17 in 2003.
After being promoted to Anderlecht’s senior team in 2003, He became one of the regular names on the team-sheet and made 73 appearances for the Belgian side in 3 seasons. In 2006, after much speculation, He moved to German side Hamburger SV for 10 million Euros. In his debut season for Hamburg, he managed only six Bundesliga starts for the club, before suffering an Achilles injury in November that ruled him out for the rest of the season. Despite his lack of involvement in the season, he was selected in a 30-man provisional Belgium squad for the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.
Fairytale career with Manchester City
On 22 August 2008, Premier League club Manchester City signed Vincent Kompany from Hamburg on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee. Two days later, Kompany made his City debut against West Ham United. On 28 September, Vincent Kompany scored his first goal in City’s 2–1 away defeat in the hands of Wigan Athletic. During his early time at Manchester City, Kompany played as a defensive midfielder. On 12 February 2011, he started the League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford and played the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 defeat. On 25 April, he was assigned to captain the side in the absence of striker Carlos Tevez against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, playing the full 90 minutes alongside his fellow centre-back partner Joleon Lescott in an important 1–0 victory courtesy of a late 75th-minute strike from Edin Džeko. On 16 April, Kompany captained Manchester City’s victory over main rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium; City won the game 1–0. Later that day, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside teammate Tevez. In the 2011 FA Cup Final, he started and finished the match, a 1–0 victory over Stoke City which delivered Manchester City’s first major trophy for 35 years. At the end of the 2010–11 season, in which City qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time, then Man City manager Roberto Mancini praised Kompany’s “incredible” season and claimed that with his attitude and mentality, Vincent Kompany can become one of the best defenders in Europe.
Kompany was permanently named club captain for the 2011–12 season, with Tevez having expressed publicly his desire to leave the club. The opening fixture of the 2011-12 season was the FA Community Shield, which ended in a 3–2 defeat to arch-rivals Manchester United despite City holding a two-goal lead at half-time. On 30 April 2012, Kompany scored a header from a David Silva corner in a title decider Manchester derby; the game finished 1–0 to City and put them in first place ahead of United on goal difference with only two games of the season remaining. On 13 May, the final day of the Premier League, Kompany led the city side to a dramatic 3-2 victory against Queens’ Park Rangers to give City their first Premier League title since 1968. Sergio Aguero scored a dramatic goal in injury time which led to insane scenes at the Etihad Stadium. On 25 July 2012, Vincent Kompany signed a six-year contract with Manchester City, the longest of its kind in the club’s history. In the following season, City couldn’t live up to the huge expectations as they finished bottom in their Champions League group and finished 2nd behind arch-rivals United but the point gap was huge between the two teams and finally, City’s season was put to bed when they dramatically lost the 2013 FA Cup final against Wigan Athletic.
In 2013-14 season City appointed Manuel Pellegrini as the successor of Mancini and in his very first season, he delivered the league title and again Kompany was rock solid at the back throughout the season. City won their 2nd title in 3 years and establishing their name as both Premier League and European giants. During 2014–15, Kompany accumulated 33 appearances in all competitions, but the club could only finish runners-up in the league and were eliminated from the domestic and continental cups at early stages, also losing out in the Community Shield. In April 2015, he suffered a muscular injury during the Manchester derby which ended his campaign early, and This would prove to be the start of a long spell of recurring injuries (mainly muscular strains) for a player who had already endured a number of physical problems since his arrival in England.
2015-16 season started with a bang for both City and Kompany as he scored in his club’s opening two fixtures. But as the season progressed, Kompany suffered multiple injuries and City finished fourth on goal difference in a dramatic Premier League season when Leicester City won the title against all the odds. Kompany, however, missed the 2016 Euro Cup with Belgium. Having returned to the first team in October 2016, Kompany withdrew from international duty with discomfort and on 22 November he sustained a knee injury. At that time, an analysis popped up and showed that he had suffered 37 injuries since joining Manchester City in 2008 and had missed over two years (878 days) in that eight-year period.
The main thing is self-belief and experience.Vincent kompany after recovering from an injury and scoring in a victory over Tottenham Hotspur in April 2017
Kompany appeared just 15 times during the 2016-17 campaign, although his continued importance to the team was evident from the fact that He would always return to the starting line-up as soon as he was fit. Kompany played in eight league matches for Manchester City during the first portion of 2017–18, suffering further strains during the period, before withdrawing minutes into an away fixture against Newcastle on 27 December. Manager Pep Guardiola’s responded in the press conferences, suggesting he was losing patience with the situation. He returned to the team on 3 February 2018, completing the 90 minutes of a 1–1 draw away to Burnley while Aymeric Laporte, the club’s new record signing in the same position, remained on the bench throughout. On 25 February, he scored Manchester City’s second goal of a 3–0 victory over Arsenal in the 2018 EFL Cup Final and was named man of the match. He eventually managed 17 league starts as Manchester City won the title with a Premier League record 100 points. During 2018-19 season City was fighting tough title challenge with Liverpool and On 6 May 2019, Kompany scored Manchester City’s most important goal of the season during a 1–0 victory over Leicester City with his first goal from outside the box for the club. The result put the club one point ahead at the top of the 2018–19 Premier League table, and they retained the title by the same margin six days later. City became only the third team in Premier League era to retain their league title. Kompany had already lifted the EFL Cup again in February 2019 after a penalty shootout victory over Chelsea. He played the whole of the 2019 FA Cup Final, a 6–0 victory over Watford as the club completed an unprecedented domestic treble (plus the Community Shield).
On 19 May 2019, after a gargantuan career with the ‘Cityzens’, Kompany announced that he would be leaving Manchester City to become player-manager of boyhood club Anderlecht. With two defeats, two goalless draws, six goals conceded and three scored, the Brussels-based club had endured their worst opening start to a league campaign since the 1998–99 season. On 22 August 2019, Kompany decided to step down managerial duties on the pitch, to focus primarily on being a player. Head coach Simon Davies would become in charge of tactical changes and substitutions, while Kompany would be given the captain’s armband.
Kompany made his international debut aged just 17 for Belgium in February 2004 against France, as one of the youngest players ever. The Royal Belgian Football Association called up Kompany to the 2008 Olympics. Initially, Hamburg decided not to let him go as the Olympics was not an official FIFA tournament. After a dispute, Hamburg decided to release him under the condition that he returned after Belgium’s first two group games. At the Beijing Olympics, Belgium’s first game was against Brazil where he was sent off in a 1–0 loss, and as a consequence, his tournament was over as the red card would rule him out of Belgium’s second group game. Due to the turn of events, Kompany decided against returning to Germany in hope of playing the last group game to help his country qualify for the knockout stages. In November 2009, Kompany fell out with the Belgium manager Dick Advocaat. On the Monday before the friendly match with Qatar on 18 November 2009, Kompany received permission to attend the funeral of his grandmother as long as he returned to the team hotel before 6 pm that evening. As it happened, he did not return until nearly midnight. Furious, Advocaat removed him from the squad altogether, although on 24 February 2010 he was recalled to the Belgium squad by Advocaat for the friendly against Croatia.
On 19 May 2010, Kompany scored a 90th-minute goal to give Belgium a 2–1 win over Bulgaria in a friendly. On 10 November 2011, a day before the friendly against Romania, Georges Leekens named Kompany as Belgium captain, succeeding Thomas Vermaelen. After 34 minutes of Belgium’s 2–1 World Cup qualifier win against Serbia in June 2013, Kompany suffered a concussion and facial injuries, including a broken nose and cracked eye-socket, in a collision with Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković. After receiving first aid on the touchline, he played out the remainder of the match. On 13 May 2014, Kompany was named in the Belgium squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He captained the side in their first World Cup match in 12 years, a 2–1 win against Algeria in Belo Horizonte. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Kompany featured in five of his nation’s seven matches, playing every minute in the knockout phase as they advanced to the semi-finals before losing to eventual champions France. He captained his side to overcome England to finish third, their highest ever placing in the competition. On 11th June 2019, he played his last game for his country in a 3-0 win over Scotland in EURO 2020 Qualifiers.
Kompany’s father, Pierre, is a Congolese immigrant to Belgium and serves as his agent. His late mother, Jocelyne, was Belgian. His brother, François Kompany, plays for Roeselare, having previously had spells at Germinal Beerschot and Macclesfield Town. Kompany also has an older sister.
Kompany married his Mancunian girlfriend, Carla Higgs, a lifelong Manchester City supporter on 11 June 2011, and together they have a daughter, Sienna, who was born on 10 June 2010, and two sons, born in 2013 and 2015. Kompany has a number of pastimes and interests which keep him occupied outside of football. He has an interest in politics and graduated with an MBA at Manchester Business School in 2018 after several years of study. Kompany has been characterized as “erudite” and “eloquent”.
Retirement and Managerial Career
After joining his boyhood club Anderlecht as player-manager in 2019, he helped his side finish 8th in the Belgian League in an incomplete 2019-20 season due to Covid-19 Pandemic but that 8th placed finish wasn’t familiar with the giants Anderlecht. Kompany made his choice to hang up his boots as a player and concentrate solely on managerial duty on 17th August 2020. He immediately took over the managerial job. We wish him a happy retirement and best of luck for his future managerial career.
I want to stay with the club for at least four seasons and prove that Anderlecht can play a modern style of football.Vincent Kompany on his future plans as Anderlecht manager
What are your thoughts on Vincent Kompany and his legendary career? Let us know in the comment section below.