Vincent Kompany exit from a club he has served for eleven seasons has caught many by surprise but he vowed to continue Pep Guardiola’s legacy after calling time on the glittering spell at Manchester City.
After helping his team clinch a historic domestic treble with Saturday’s FA Cup win, skipper Kompany announced his decision to leave City to become player-manager of Anderlecht.
The Belgium defender, 33, will return to the club where his career began and said he will try to emulate Guardiola’s revered style of play that has brought such success to City.
“As overwhelming as it is, the time has come for me to go,” said Kompany. “And what a season to bow out. I feel nothing but gratefulness.“I’m grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey, at a very special club.
“I will never forget how all 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.
“I’ve lived the dream here. I’ve learned so much the last three years, from an incredible manager.“Pep reignited my love for the game. I’ve witnessed, participated, analysed, absorbed, studied. “City play the football I want to play. It’s the football I want to teach and to see played.
“I have decided to take up the challenge at RSC Anderlecht, player-manager.“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.”
Belgium, regarded as one of the finest centre-backs in England over the past decade, won Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups between 2008 and 2019.
He made 360 appearances for the Blues, scoring 20 goals, but recent seasons were blighted by a succession of injuries which restricted his game-time scoring his last screamer against Leicester City in a game that was ending in a barren draw.
Paying tribute to Kompany, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “There have been many important contributors to Manchester City’s renaissance, but arguably none are more important than Vincent Kompany.