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Man City star Vincent Kompany lifts lid on injury nightmare after Carabao Cup victory
- Updated: February 27, 2018
VINCENT KOMPANY says his stubborn streak helped him through his injury nightmare to become a Wembley winner once again.
The Manchester City captain has endured so many setbacks over the last few years that a lesser character may well have called it a day.
But Kompany’s perseverance paid off with a man-of-the-match performance as City won the Carabao Cup on Sunday, when he underlined that despite the club’s £200m spend on central defenders in recent years he remains the best on their books.
And perversely, the 31-year-old Belgium international revealed that he actually enjoys the adversity he has experienced – he has missed 130 games in a City career approaching its 10th anniversary in August – because it brings the best out of him.
“I’m fortunate to be at a club where I get incredible support from the medical staff,” he said. “But a lot of it is just my own doing. Just absolute stubbornness.
“I kind of almost get enjoyment out of adversity in life, however bad it can be. I’ve always been like this. I’m kind of the wrong guy to bet against!
“I hope I’m remembered for more than my injuries. I could have had an easier run in my career. But if I had to go back I would not change anything because I got the chance to show what kind of person I am and I will be able use the self-belief I’ve had to show in the rest of my life. That means more to me.”
All his emotions spilled out when he scored City’s vital second goal on Sunday. It was sandwiched by strikes from the two other members of City’s ‘old guard’: Sergio Aguero, who joined in 2011, and David Silva, who arrived the year before.
“I’m living every moment as if it is my first and last in the game,” added Kompany, whose bargain £6m transfer from Hamburg pre-dates Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in September 2008 by a couple of weeks.
“Before the game, I thought I was going to score,” he added. “I always visualise myself doing well, my team winning and even me getting an opportunity to score. And that’s how it turned out.
“We’ll have to see when the trophies are coming. If we win more and consistently, if we can win the Premier League then go again and again, then this team will be better than the previous ones,” he said.
“Remember, we have scored hundreds of goals as well under Pellegrini. It’s been a feature of this club for many years now.
“I kind of want to keep that hunger in the team. So I don’t want to put people on a pedestal when we haven’t achieved all of our targets yet. So, for now, it’s a case of, ‘Well done, but keep going’.”
While a Carabao Cup-Premier League double is virtually in the bag, Kompany is cautious about talk of making it a treble by winning the Champions League as well.
“There is belief but we are not favourites above the big ones, Real Madrid and Barcelona,” he said. “We’re just trying to fight our way in there and maybe shake things up a little bit.
“One thing at a time. We have to play Basle first. It’s too early to call it. Paris St Germain are a great team but they’ve gone to Madrid and you saw what happened there [they lost the first leg 3-1]. So we have to be careful about saying too much.”
Club and international team-mate Kevin De Bruyne said of Kompany: “Everyone knows what he can do for the team. He keeps us solid.
“It’s been tough for Vinny, he’s had a lot of injuries and to go to Wembley and have a great performance, to help the team, and even to score will hopefully give him a massive boost.”
City will be without key midfielder Fernandinho for the rematch with the Gunners at the Emirates on Thursday. The Brazilian is facing several weeks on the sidelines after pulling a hamstring at Wembley.