Vincent Kompany is a Manchester City legend. He’s lifted two Premier League titles for the Citizens and is urging the club to become “more Mancunian” as they continue to grow as a global brand.
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There is plenty of speculation flying around regarding Kompany’s status for the Manchester derby on Sunday, as the captain of City could be on the bench for their key clash at Old Trafford against Manchester United (Watch live, 10:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) as he’s been out with a calf injury since September.
Kompany, 29, came on as a late sub in City’s UEFA Champions League win over Sevilla on Wednesday but his manager Manuel Pellegrini has remained coy as Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi could well start against United in a top of the table clash.
Back to Kompany, he told NBC SportsWorld in an exclusive chat that he wants City to become more identifiable with their Mancunian roots.
“It is one of the most important things for Man City in the future. One of the biggest challenges is that we have all these great players from great places but there’s something fundamentally different to Manchester as to other cities,” Kompany said. “I think for Man City to become one of the biggest clubs in the world it will have to go back to being more Mancunian than ever and to expose that as a brand and a way of being. I think that is a big challenge for City in the future. You know, I’ve bought into it a lot and a lot of players have bought into it. There is just something special about that industrial past of Manchester that somehow needs to filter through the youth teams and filter through the first team. This factor is something that people will support Manchester City for.”
Heading into what seems like an even bigger derby than usual on Sunday, with City in first place but just two points ahead of United in third, Kompany hailed the quality of the current squad at Pellegrini’s disposal.
“It is the best squad. Definitely,” Kompany said. “I think our first title win, we had something in the squad. Our personalities were massive in that squad and I think that was the way we managed to come back from that far and win it. I think the talent this year is bigger than it has ever been but the personality the first year was probably the biggest it has ever been.”
He also kept his options open to a move to Major League Soccer when is contract at City is up. The Belgian national team skipper, who is contracted to City until the summer of 2018, also admitted MLS’ popularity is growing in the UK.
“It has been crazy since they [Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard] have moved over because MLS is always on. You get to see so much of MLS now, so it’s actually becoming quite a relevant league to people over here,” Kompany said. “Obviously, we follow quite closely what New York City FC does. For us, it is quite important to be supportive towards that club as well. The level is increasing every single year. You see new franchises coming in, you see so many people going to the stadiums and they are also good stadiums now. I think it is just a fun league to be in so I wouldn’t be surprised to go over there when my contract comes to an end at City.”