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Vincent Kompany leaves Manchester City

Vincent Kompany is to become the player-manager of Anderlecht after confirming his departure from Manchester City.

The City captain revealed he was leaving the club after 11 years on Sunday, a day after a 6-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup final saw them become the first English men’s club to secure the domestic treble.

Kompany has now unveiled his plans for the future; he has signed a three-year deal with Belgian side Anderlecht, where he came through the ranks before joining Hamburg in 2006.

The 33-year-old explained his decision on Facebook, writing: “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.

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

“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.”

‘Man City play the football I want to play’

Kompany says he met with Anderlecht owner Marc Coucke and sports director Michael Verschueren at their training ground when on international duty with Belgium last year.

He offered his assistance to the club, before talks with technical director Frank Arnesen on “how to build a strong playing identity based on attractive, attacking football.”

Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy after Manchester City are crowned back-to-back champions
Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy after Manchester City are crowned back-to-back champions

Kompany was then offered the player-manager role “not so long ago”. He added: “Mr. 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. The end of this season couldn’t be more memorable. I have lived the dream here. I have learned so much the last 3 years. From an incredible manager. Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game. I’ve witnessed, participated, analysed, absorbed, studied.

“Man City play the football I want to play. It is the football I want to teach and to see played.”

Kompany says Pep Guardiola 'reignited his love for the game'
Kompany says Pep Guardiola ‘reignited his love for the game’

Kompany made 103 appearances for Anderlecht during his first spell at the club, twice helping the club to the Belgian title.

They are the most successful club in Belgium, but have won just one title in the last five years and have not won the Belgian Cup for 11 seasons.

‘The time has come for me to go’

Kompany played his final game for the club in Saturday’s 6-0 FA Cup final win over Watford.

The Belgian has played 360 games for City since joining from Hamburg in 2008, winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups along the way – including one of each this season.

Commenting on his decision to leave City, Kompany wrote a letter to fans on Facebook, saying: “We’ve just seen the close of an incredible season. My 11th as a Blue. I cannot believe I’m writing this but … also my last as a Blue.

“Countless of times have I imagined this day, after all, the end has felt nearby for so many years. It still doesn’t feel real. Man City has given me everything. 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. I cherish the counsel and leadership of a good human being, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. Man City could not be in better hands.”

‘Kompany a huge loss for City’

Speaking on Sunday Supplement, The Telegraph’s northern football correspondent, James Ducker, says Kompany’s departure leaves City with a huge void to fill.

“Kompany’s been clear that he wants to keep on playing,” he said. “He wants regular football and I don’t think Guardiola has been able to guarantee that he’d play all the time given the fitness issues he’s had over the last three or four years.

“He’s an enormous loss to City. He’s the only remaining bridge to the pre-Abu Dhabi era and for me he’s come to represent the soul of Manchester City. People talk a lot about the sort of club City’s become but in any dealings with Kompany, he’s a huge presence. He’s got a wonderful way about himself. –