Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

Vincent Kompany to join first club Anderlecht after announcing he will leave Manchester City

Kompany, 33, will return to the club where he started out to take over player-manager role

Anderlecht have appointed Vincent Kompany as their new player-manager after the Belgian confirmed he will leave Manchester City after nearly 11 years.

Anderlecht, the Belgian club Kompany joined at the age of six and where he began his professional career in 2003, tweeted on Sunday: "The prince is back".

Kompany, 33, said in a post on his Facebook account earlier on Sunday that he was leaving City less than 24 hours after captaining the team to a 6-0 FA Cup final victory over Watford to complete an historic treble of Premier League and League Cup.

In a second message posted a few hours later, Kompany, whose contract with City expires next month, confirmed he would return to 34-time Belgian champions Anderlecht to take over as player-manager.

"For the next three years, I will take up the role of Player-Manager of RSC Anderlecht. Belgium’s finest," Kompany said.

"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."

Anderlecht are Belgium's most decorated club but finished a disappointing sixth in the First Division A last season.

Kompany said that he had met with Anderlecht chairman Marc Coucke and sporting director Michael Verschueren last summer.

"I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to No 1," he wrote.

"I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it."

Kompany says he was then offered the player-manager job in the last few weeks.

"Mr Coucke, the owner, pledged full support: time, budget, framework, staff, facilities," Kompany continued.

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

Centre-back Kompany was signed by Mark Hughes on August 22, 2008 just over a week before Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed's takeover that has marked an unprecedented era of success for the club under the Abu Dhabi banner.

Kompany became a key figure in the success which followed, and leaves City having won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups.

John Stones and Aymeric Laporte have been Pep Guardiola's preferred centre-back pairing this season, although Kompany's contribution down the home stretch, including a 25-yard thunderbolt to seal three points against Leicester City on May 7, was part of a 14-match win streak to pip Liverpool to the Premier League title by one point.

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Vincent Kompany's Manchester City career in pictures

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Kompany paid tribute to Pep Guardiola, the first manager in English football to win a clean sweep of domestic trophies in a single season.

"The end of this season couldn’t be more memorable. I have lived the dream here.," Kompany said.

"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."

Kompany added he wants to apply Guardiola's philosophy of attacking football at Anderlecht.

"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 is no goodbye. It's a see you later."

Updated: May 19, 2019 04:44 PM

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