Vincent Kompany has hung up his playing boots, ending a two-decade-long career that started and finished at Anderlecht.
The former Manchester City captain was one of the best centre-backs in Europe during his peak and was as pivotal in the rise of the Citizens in the last decade as the sovereign wealth of Abu Dhabi was pumped into the club.
Vincent Kompany knew the Manchester City of the pre-Abu Dhabi era and was the cornerstone on which the club built multiple title-winning squads over the last ten to 12 years.
He was the face of the modern Manchester City despite the contributions of more talented and exquisite players such as Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
The Belgian is a modern Manchester City legend, a player the fans and the players could look up to during his time at the Etihad.
Vincent Kompany – the Manchester City legend
Given the amount of money Manchester City have spent on centre-backs in recent years and are expected to fork out again this summer, it is staggering to remember, Vincent Kompany was acquired for a measly sum of £6m on 22nd August 2008.
Little more than a week later, the world around Manchester City changed when Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan acquired the club and started a revolution at the Etihad that led to four Premier League titles and Kompany was in the thick of it all.
He started his time at Manchester City as a defensive midfielder but in no time he established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.
The Belgian was in the middle of a massive amount of change at Manchester City but throughout his leadership qualities burnt bright.
Vincent Kompany led the Manchester City side that ended the club’s more than three-decade-long for a trophy when they beat Stoke City 1-0 in the FA Cup final 2011.
But Kompany and Manchester City’s crowning glory came next season when they won the league title. The Belgian was brilliant in Manchester City’s first-ever Premier League campaign that put the club on the map of Europe as a serious force.
The Manchester City captain also scored a crucial winner against Manchester United at the Etihad, which tilted the title race towards his side’s favour. Kompany became the first Citizens skipper to lift the Premier League title at the end of one of the most dramatic seasons.
The centre-backs’ status as a club legend was sealed but he was again brilliant as Manchester City won the league again under Manuel Pellegrini in 2014.
Injuries took a toll on Kompany’s body but he remained pivotal under Pep Guardiola as well. His ageing body means that he missed a lot more games but the Manchester City manager depended on the Belgian to deliver in the big games.
The defender played a key role in Manchester City winning the league again in 2018. And Vincent Kompany scored a screamer against Leicester City towards the end of the 2018-19 season, which helped the club to keep a resurgent Liverpool at bay to win the league again.
Exit from Manchester City and return to Anderlecht
Manchester City failed to convince Vincent Kompany to stay on last summer and he left the club to return to his first side in Anderlecht as player-manager.
Pep Guardiola’s failure to replace Kompany is seen as one of the reasons why Manchester City faltered so badly in the Premier League last season. The lack of leadership in the squad and at the back was visible as they finished 18 points behind champions Liverpool.
Manchester City acutely faced the absence of their former captain and even a half-fit Kompany could have made a significant difference to their squad last season.
His return to Anderlecht also didn’t pan out as he would have hoped. 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.
The defender eventually stepped down from the managerial duties to focus on just being a player in the squad.
Eventually, it was announced earlier this week that he was hanging up his playing boots and was named the head coach for Anderlecht on a four-year contract.
Vincent Kompany is a modern Premier League great who could easily be compared to the best defenders of his era.
He is definitely a Manchester City legend who deserves a statue outside the Etihad, like the Citizens are planning for David Silva, for his contribution towards building one of the modern super clubs of this era.