Man City star says goodbye to become player-manager at boyhood club

By Mirror: Monday, May 20th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
City stars celebrate their FA Cup triumph [Courtesy]

The 33-year-old, less than 24 hours after lifting the FA Cup and completing a domestic Treble, will return to his boyhood club for his first foray into management.

The City skipper made his professional debut for Belgium's biggest club as a 16-year-old, making 103 appearances before leaving for Hamburg.

The City skipper made his professional debut for Belgium's biggest club [Courtesy]

Now he is returning to the Constant Vanden Stock, having signed a three-year deal with the club that he initially joined at six years of age.

Writing on Facebook, Kompany, who joined City under Mark Hughes in 2008, confirmed: "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 RSC Anderlecht.

"As a footballer, I was born and raised at RSC Anderlecht. Since the age of 6, I have been one with that club. A history of 34 league titles, they are second to none."

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Kompany emerged as the No.1 choice for the Belgian giants after talks with technical director Frank Arnesen and sporting director Michael Verschueren.

Those talks came around after Kompany was initially asked for observations on the club last summer by Verschueren and owner Marc Coucke, who promoted their own vision for the club.

And after a difficult season for the Belgian side, the trio decided to push for Kompany's return once his season with City was over.

"Quite unexpectedly, they offered me the position of Player-Manager," revealed Kompany. "Michael and Frank explained to me in detail how they saw it working in practice. They had thought it through.

"Mr. [Marc] Coucke, the owner, pledged full support: time, budget, framework, staff, facilities.

"I was left not only impressed but also intrigued by this sign of confidence in me. It got me thinking.

"I have decided to take up the challenge."

Kompany, who has been working on his coaching badges, returns to Anderlecht after a disappointing campaign for his former club.

Kompany, who has been working on his coaching badges, returns to Anderlecht after a disappointing campaign for his former club [Courtesy]

During the regular season in Belgium, they finished fourth, 12 points behind Genk in first place.

And things only got worse in the Championship round, with just one win in nine games leaving them bottom of the six-team table before Sunday night's meeting with Gent.

Kompany, whose return was revealed by the club with the message 'The Prince is back' will be tasked with rebuilding the side quickly, and taking them back to the pinnacle of the Belgian game.

And Kompany, paying tribute to Pep Guardiola, says he will be looking to "put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium".

"I have learned so much the last three years - from an incredible manager.

"Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game. I’ve witnessed, participated, analyzed, absorbed, studied. Man City play the football I want to play. It is the football I want to teach and to see played.

"I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations."

 

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