This story is about a person that I have admired for several years. Vincent Kompany has not only done a lot for Manchester City and Belgium, but also for the leaders in the game.
He has lifted four Premier League trophies and two FA Cups with Man City, as well as four League Cups. Every time he lifted one you could feel he was celebrating the victory of two battles at once. That’s why I started to follow him closely after the early stages of his injury troubles.
His troubles actually started all the way back in 2016 while he was at Hamburg. He managed only six starts in his debut season for the club before suffering an achilles injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season. He bounced back from that and then City snapped him up in 2008, but this is where his real woes started.
In 2016 an analysis showed that he had suffered 37 injuries since joining City and he had missed over two years of football in that eight-year period. I could not understand how someone could bounce back so strong. We all know it’s hard to come back, and fit straight into a side that is so well polished, and making sure you’re not the weakest link at the back.
But there he stood, every time following an injury, as a real leader. We all know as a captain you always feel that the team is watching you and relying on you when some additional motivation is needed. Even the coach can’t provide that sometimes, but Kompany demanded it.
After a long absence teammates also look at you and question if you are still good enough to be their captain, and there is always a player or two trying to take that armband from you. But to stand strong and weather the storm you need another level of focus.
Beating the battle against your injuries is something that a lot of us will lose, but not Vincent. He stood there and took all the shots that were coming at him but always came back stronger. He was ruthlessly determined to show he was not done with the beautiful game just yet.
Seeing him lift those three trophies this season made me smile and gave me so much joy because I will always be a fan of the players that overcome the odds and beat the challenges that people say they could never win. #mmlove