Kompany on Manchester derby, title hopes, fitness

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“So here’s to you Vincent Kompany, City loves you more than you will know. Woah, woah, woah!”

Sung to the tune of “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel, Manchester City’s fans adore their captain Vincent Kompany.

He loves them right back.

Recently I sat down with one of the best central defenders in the world to talk about being a Man City player for nearly a decade, his aspirations for more trophies during the 2015-16 season and of course, the massive Manchester derby against bitter rivals United on Sunday (Watch live, 10:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) at Old Trafford.

Here is an excerpt from the piece — titled “A True Mancunian” — which is now live on NBC SportsWorld, the home of our longform content.

Would lifting his Premier League trophy as City’s skipper be more rewarding than say, winning the UEFA Champions League or finally making it past the Round of 16 and into the semifinal or final?

Kompany isn’t too fussed, but just doesn’t want “the neighbors” Manchester United, or any other PL team to be crowned Champions of Europe.

“Right, so if I am being diplomatic then I have to say, obviously, that they are equally important,” Kompany said, with a serious look on his face. “There is just one thing. You don’t want to see anybody else winning it in your backyard. It is not a case of you want to win the Champions League instead of the Premier League, it’s more the case, for example, it hurts less to see Barcelona lifting the title than it would hurt if ‘the neighbors’ did it. There is huge rivalry in England and I think that is a big part of the story. You are always thinking ‘okay, we want to win the Champions League’ but you cannot afford to drop your guard because before you even know it it’s not just the title that is gone but that Champions League qualification is gone as well, in a sense where you can’t finish in the top four in the league. There is never really a moment where you can be at ease in England. The difference between being Champion and being top four is so little. Then again, the Champions League is a huge priority for the club.”