When you think of a club, usually one player pops into your mind straight away.
Vincent Kompany will be that player for Manchester City.
After his departure following 11 seasons which yielded 12 major trophies, Kompany’s legacy at Man City will be legendary and talk of a statue of him being built outside of the Etihad Stadium is serious and just. He is adored by Man City fans in Manchester and beyond, as he embraced every aspect of Man City and seemed to totally understand what the club means to the fans and the city.
But that appreciation spreads even further.
Kompany’s achievements on and off the pitch at City mean he is one of the all-time great leaders in the Premier League era.
I’m talking Tony Adams, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, John Terry, Alan Shearer and Steven Gerrard. He is right there in the same bracket.
Did he arrive at Man City at the right time? Sure. He was the skipper of the greatest, and most expensive, team ever assembled in English soccer.
But every great team has a great leader, and that is something money can’t buy.
Kompany’s determination and focus to set high standards day in, day out both on the training pitch and around the locker room is clear for all to see. As star names came and went, he was the one constant and he made sure every newbie put the club and fans first.
He arrived just before Sheikh Mansour took over in 2008 and 11 years later he has helped City become a behemoth in world soccer on and off the pitch while always staying humble despite as he delivered some brilliant individual moments along the way.
Kompany is an impressive man off the pitch, one who talks about politics, problems in his homeland of Belgium, and has worked hard to try and help tackle problems with homelessness in Manchester.
While he was at Man City he also completed his Masters Degree in Business Administration, all of that in his spare time while he led City to four PL titles in eight seasons and pushed them on as much as he could.
Injuries threatened to derail his great career over the past couple of campaigns, but the way he bounced back this season to drive City to the title in the final months of the campaign underlined his importance as a truly inspirational leader.
His stunning goal against Leicester City in the penultimate game of the season was pivotal in their title win and Kompany got the perfect send off by leading City to something no other men’s team in English soccer has ever achieved, winning all three domestic trophies available in one season.
The only success which evaded him was in Europe, as City reached the semifinal and quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League but just couldn’t get over the line in that competition.
Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Joe Hart, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho will all have a special place in Man City’s history books, but it is the man who led them who will be lauded most for decades to come.
There’s no doubt aside from his new role as player-manager of his boyhood club Anderlecht, Kompany will go on to achieve great things in the business world and he seems destined to be involved in politics at some point as he will follow in the footsteps of his father who is a mayor of one of the 19 districts of Brussels.
Kompany’s status as one of the greatest leaders in Premier League will always be safe and as the song goes, “here’s to you Vincent Kompany, City loves you more than you will know, ohhhhh!”
You can tweak those lyrics to “City will always love you more than you will know” because he will go down as their greatest-ever captain.