The Best Moments of Vincent Kompany's Career

Aug 17, 2020, 2:45 PM GMT+1
Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany has announced his retirement | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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Manchester City icon Vincent Kompany has announced his decision to bring his illustrious playing career to an end to focus on management.

The Belgian made an enormous 360 appearances for City during his 11 years at the club, winning no fewer than four Premier League titles and earning a reputation as one of the finest centre-backs to ever play the sport.

There are a lot of memorable moments from his career to enjoy, but here are some of the best.

1. Making His Belgium Debut

Zinedine Zidane, Vincent Kompany
Kompany was 17 when he made his Belgium debut | AFP/Getty Images/Getty Images

At the age of just 17 years and 314 days, Kompany's status as one of the world's most exciting young players was confirmed as he made his debut for the Belgium national team in February 2004.

He probably hoped for an easy start to his international career but was given 90 minutes against none other than France, who rocked up with Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and friends to earn a 2-0 win.

He retained his place in the squad for the next year before injuries started to interrupt.

2. Man of the Match Performance vs Chelsea

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Vin
Kompany was at his best against Chelsea in 2010 | AFP/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti's free-flowing Chelsea enjoyed a perfect start to the 2010/11 campaign, but Kompany put a stop to that almost single-handedly.

The Belgian put in an elite display, winning man of the match after stifling Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka - something which proved to be almost impossible for most defenders that year.

It's a showing which is fondly remembered as one of Kompany's finest in a City shirt.

3. Becoming Captain

Howard Webb, Vincent Kompany, Phil Neville
Kompany became City captain in September 2011 | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Kompany was first handed the captain's armband in May 2011, but after Carlos Tevez went public with his desire to leave that summer, he was handed the captaincy on a permanent basis.

The first time he wore the armband as the official captain was in his 100th Premier League game as a City player - a 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic in September 2011.

4. Derby-Winning Header

Vincent Kompany
Kompany's goal was vital to City's title win | Michael Regan/Getty Images

The 2011/12 season had City chasing rivals Manchester United at the top of the table, so when the two sides met in the 36th game of the season, it felt like whoever won would go on and seal the title.

In stoppage time of the first half, Kompany rose highest to meet a David Silva corner and send his side top of the league on goal difference with just two games to play.

Can you remember what happened next?

5. Lifting His 1st Premier League Title

Vincent Kompany, Roberto Mancini
Kompany led City to their 1st Premier League title | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Truth be told, the final day of the 2011/12 season wasn't Kompany's finest performance. By the time the clock hit 90 in their meeting with Queens Park Rangers, Kompany and City were 3-1 down.

One Edin Džeko header and a well-timed AGÜEROOOOOOOO later and Kompany had his hands on the Premier League trophy for the first time in his career.

It was City's first title since 1968, and they'd go on to lift another three before he walked away in 2019.

6. Winning the Premier League Player of the Season Award

Not only did Kompany life the Premier League title in 2012, but he was also awarded the Player of the Season prize for his unbelievable first season as captain.

He helped City keep a whopping 17 clean sheets during the season and even chipped in with three goals of his own, helping him become the first City player ever to pick up the award.

7. Sealing the 2013/14 Title

Vincent Kompany, Manuel Pellegrini
Kompany inspired another title win | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

City went into the final day of the 2013/14 season knowing just a point against West Ham would be good enough to seal the title, but thanks to Kompany, they bagged all three.

After watching Liverpool collapse, Kompany was an anchor at the back and even managed to poke home from close range to steer City to one of the most comfortable victories you'll ever see.

It ensured they regained their Premier League crown, which had been snatched away by United one year earlier.

8. Leading Belgium Back to the World Cup

Axel Witsel, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany
Belgium ended a 12-year absence from the World Cup | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

It seems hard to believe these days, but there was a long period in which the Belgian national team were actually pretty bad. After the 2002 World Cup, the Red Devils actually failed to qualify for the next two tournaments.

With Kompany captaining the side, Belgium stormed back to the game's biggest stage in 2014, captaining the squad for their first World Cup match in 12 years against Algeria.

They ultimately fell to Argentina in the quarter-finals, but the 2014 World Cup was simply about Belgium reintroducing themselves to fans.

9. 'Don't Shoot Vinnie!'

There's nothing more annoying than a centre back taking a 30-yard shot and spooning it over the bar instead of looking for a sensible pass, but City fans were more than happy to see Kompany have a moment of madness against Leicester in May 2019.

City were in a fierce title battle with Liverpool and looked to have slipped up as they were drawing 0-0 with the Foxes, only for Kompany to unleash a thunderbolt of a strike to give City a crucial victory.

Players were all screaming for Kompany to look for a pass, but Captain Fantastic put the team on his shoulders and dragged them to one last title before leaving.

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

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