Today marks 10 years since Vincent Kompany joined Manchester City.
The Belgium defender signed from Hamburg on 22 August 2008, a day now etched in the minds of City supporters across the world.
Captain, leader and one of the finest defenders in Premier League history, he has played an essential role in the Club’s recent history of success.
He made his debut in a 3-0 win over West Ham United two days after signing for the Club and struck his first goal in the 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic four weeks later. His first season saw City finish tenth in the league and reach the UEFA Cup quarter-final.
The following year saw a significant improvement in the team’s performances after the appointment of Roberto Mancini. The Italian ushered in a more pragmatic style of football and moved Vincent from central-midfield to centre-back, which proved a masterstroke. City finished fifth, narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification, but the platform for future success had been laid.
Kompany was establishing a reputation as one of the best defenders in the English game and his performances in the 2010-11 season were crucial in helping City win the Club’s first piece of silverware in 35 years. He captained the side in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester United and then delivered a fine display in the final as we beat Stoke City 1-0. City also finished the league season with three-consecutive wins, helping us secure a place in the Champions League for the first time, with Vincent named as City’s Player of the Season in recognition of his outstanding displays.
Early in the 2011/12 season, he was installed as captain on a permanent basis, a role he has fulfilled ever since. He led us to our first league title in 44 years, scoring one of the most important goals in the Club’s history en route as City beat Manchester United to assume control of the title race with just two matches remaining. He ended that campaign with another individual accolade: the Premier League Player of the Season award.
In 2014, he played 37 times in all competitions as we won our first ever domestic league-and-cup double under Manuel Pellegrini, beating Sunderland in the final of the League Cup before a dramatic finish to the Premier League season saw us overhaul Liverpool to win our second title in three years.
A succession of injuries have, at times, restricted his appearances, but he remains a vital member of the side. In 2016, he won the League Cup again and was part of the side that reached the Champions League semi-final, and last season he played 21 times as City broke a succession of records to win the Premier League with 100 points. He also produced an inspired, goalscoring display in the Carabao Cup final in March as we beat Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley.
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In total, he has won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three League Cups and two Community Shields, making 336 appearances and scoring 19 goals. He has also been named in the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions.
Legend is an often-misused word in professional sport – but Vincent Kompany undoubtedly deserves to be labelled as such.
His performances on the field have been consistently brilliant and underline his footballing ability; there are very few centre-halves in the Premier League era who can claim to have reached the same level.
And as a captain and ambassador off the field, he has been a constant source of intelligence, leadership and strength.
Everyone at City would like to send their sincere thanks to Vincent for his 10 years of service and we wish him the very best for the remainder of his time here.