It was another sorry episode for a player who holds legendary status at Manchester City.
Vincent Kompany lasted only nine minutes on the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu last night before he was forced to remove the captain’s armband and head down the tunnel.
There is no doubt that a perfectly fit Kompany is, and has been, one of the finest defenders in the world.
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Standing at 6’4” and sporting a muscular physique, the Belgian is a superb defender who is able to use his physical strength, athleticism and footballing ability to help keep the best strikers in the world at bay.
Having captained his team to two Premier League titles and two League Cups, Kompany has certainly earned the status that he holds; but this season in particular, he has begun to show signs that his injury problems are beginning to get the better of him.
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In the 2010-11 season, Kompany played 50 games for City in all competitions, which included 37 out of 38 Premier League games for the club.
Over the seasons, the number of games the 30-year-old has played each year has decreased, with this year being a particularly terrible one for the Belgian.
The Manchester City captain has been involved in 13 games this year (10 in the league and three in the Champions League) after a season that has been hampered by injury and City fans are beginning to wonder whether the giant Belgian can overcome his injury problems to become a key part of Pep Guardiola’s squad.
The Citizens are certainly a far less organised team without their influential captain on the pitch and one must question whether Pellegrini and his coaching team have rushed Kompany back too quickly on too many occasions this season, desperate for the composure and experience of their iconic captain.
Having spent around £65 million on Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala, City are still desperate for a quality centre-back to help provide cover for the injury-prone Kompany, which highlights a major failing of Manuel Pellegrini’s reign.
It would be fair to say that, for his incredible service to the club, Kompany does deserve at least one more season to prove his fitness and to start again under a new manager, but Pep Guardiola will certainly be ruthless as he takes over a City team that could still miss out on a Champions League spot this season.
Kompany may well find his position under threat under the Guardiola regime and will have to work hard to prove his fitness throughout the summer.
The Belgian would certainly benefit from a summer off to rest and recuperate, but with Euro 2016 on the horizon and Belgium amongst the favourites to win the tournament, Kompany will be pushing to lead his country in a month’s time.
It is hoped that the City captain will make a full recovery so that we will see him back to his best next year and injury free.
There is, however, the danger that Guardiola will deem Kompany surplus to requirements as the Spaniard attempts to revolutionise Manchester City, in an attempt to win back the Premier League and to take them one step further in Europe.
This latest injury setback only serves to increase the questions over his future.
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