He was one of the very first signings made following the Abu Dhabi United Group’s take-over of Manchester City in August 2008. Bought for a mere pittance, Vincent Kompany arrived in Manchester from German side Hamburger SV for just £6 million. We didn’t know City were allowed to spend so little on a player. We checked in to it and apparently they are.
Just 22 at the time, his arrival was easily eclipsed by the far more glamorous but far less effective signing of Robinho. Retrospection makes wise men and women of us all.
He started his first game for City as a holding midfielder but over the next four seasons he would establish himself as one of the best centre-halves in the world. This season he rightly won the Barclays Player of the Season award, which is still a rarity for defensive players.
His winner against Manchester United at the Etihad may have been forgotten about amidst the furor of Sergio Aguero’s late, title-clinching goal on Sunday, but it will go down as one of the biggest goals in the club’s history.
However it takes more than just success on the pitch to win our affections. What makes Kompany stand out for us is the class with which he has dealt with everything this season. Unlike other club captains who shan’t remain nameless because we’re talking about Joey “The Schizo Thug” Barton, Kompany doesn’t just deliver on the pitch but off it too.
In interviews he displays an eloquence and a grasp of English which shames many an English born player and pundit. He doesn’t allow himself to be drawn in to petty squabbles, regardless of how pressurised the situation. At all times maintaining complete respect for his opponents. He even managed to restrain himself from flattening Joey Barton after the QPR man tried to nut him. Although if he had Chuck Norris-ed the coffered little dick it may have made us swoon all the more.
He may have had more competition from Roberto Mancini if the City manager hadn’t done quite so much gloating. We understand it and wholeheartedly support it but it ain’t the stuff of man-crush material.
Manchester City won their first title in 42 years and they did it in the most exhilarating fashion. The freshly-crowned champions were a massive 10/1 to win title in Paddy Power’s live-betting before Edin Dzeko’s equaliser gave them a chance. You could have backed them at 15/2 before Sergio Aguero’s late winner clinched it.
But we wouldn’t have even had this thrilling conclusion were it not for Kompany’s winner against United or the brilliant manner with which he marshalled the City defence all season. Ask the man himself and he’ll refuse to accept that he was any more important than even the least used of his team-mates.
That’s why this Monday we’re saying Vincent Kompany, we have a mancrush on you.