City legend Vincent Kompany says there will be ‘mixed feelings’ when he makes an eagerly awaited return to the Etihad with Burnley for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final.

The former Belgian centre half enjoyed 11 magical years at City, captaining the Club to four Premier League titles, four League Cups and two FA Cups.

Since leaving City in the summer of 2019, Kompany has gone on to enjoy great success as a manager, first at Anderlecht in his native Belgium and now at Burnley where he took charge last summer.

The Clarets will arrive at the Etihad 13 points clear at the top of the Championship for a game that has captured the imagination.


Looking ahead to the prospect of tackling Pep Guardiola’s side, Kompany said it was a challenge he and his players were hugely looking forward to.

But he also pointed to the magnitude of the task.

“It is mixed feelings. On the one hand the last time I was there in any competitive capacity was the famous Leicester game at home in 2019,” Kompany said.

“Now I am coming as the opponent.

“Everyone at Burnley is looking forward to go to the Etihad tomorrow and hopefully show our best side.

“I think they (the players) have earned the right to look forward to it. City are trying to win the Champions League, we are trying to win the Championship.

“We don’t like to put too much pressure on ourselves.

“The result is one thing and we all want to win but I am sure many teams have come to the Etihad and thought that.

“I shouldn’t have done but I looked at the record of Championship teams at the Etihad and it’s not great!”

The Championship leaders will step out at the Etihad to face a City side who have won our last five games and are competing for silverware on three fronts in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.


And looking ahead to the nature of the challenge, as well as the impact of 39-goal top scorer Erling Haaland, Kompany said he believed City and the Norwegian striker were only growing and developing as the season approaches its defining final few months.

“I think you can clearly see the team is improving as the season progresses,” Kompany asserted.

“I always remember playing for Pep that always the first year is a little bit difficult because he has a lot of info, a lot of concepts that are different from anywhere you play previously and then you have to make it happen.

“I remember Riyad Mahrez was on the bench for most of his first season and then towards the end he became a very important player and he ever since he has performed so well.

Erling Haaland has had more pressure than on any other player joining, in his first year at a young age he is already expected to be at his best, but he is only going to get better.

“His goalscoring is unbelievable and his overall game has improved, and he will only get better and its only going to improve.”

Kompany’s first trophy in his illustrious 11-year spell at the Etihad was in captaining City to FA Cup glory in 2011 when we beat Stoke 1-0 in the final.

And the Belgian said the famous trophy retained a special place in his affections.

“The FA Cup was my first trophy in English football, and I remember the very first time we won it we celebrated like we won the league,” Kompany added.

“There were some crazy scenes. This trophy has always meant more than any other domestic cup competition. It is harder to win it.

“Being in the quarter-finals is an achievement and to have a chance to compete

“I feel like it’s harder to win than others and to be in the quarter-final is a big achievement for us as a club and to have a chance to compete at that level.”