Belgian international defender Vincent Kompany has hung up his boots at the age of 34 to become manager of Anderlecht on a four-year contract, the club announced Monday.
Kompany joined Anderlecht from Manchester City in 2019 as player-manager, and now takes over from Franky Vercauteren, who had been handling coaching duties, in a purely managerial role.
“If I hadn’t been injured, I would have continued,” Kompany told a news conference. “I don’t want to set the bar lower than winning the title. I’m here to win.”
Kompany’s first game in charge will come on Sunday as Anderlecht take on Mouscron.
“I want to fully commit to my role as a coach and need 100% of my time and focus for it. That’s why I’m quitting as a football player,” said Kompany, who enjoyed a trophy-laden 11-year spell in England with City.
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“Our ambition and our hunger remains the same. I want to stay with the club for at least four seasons and prove that Anderlecht can play a modern style of football, with results.”
As a defender and skipper at City, Kompany won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups with City and is widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest ever players.
After making his international debut as a 17-year-old, he went on to play 89 times for Belgium, notably leading them to third in the 2018 World Cup.
“It’s the end of a glorious chapter as a player. But now he starts another exciting chapter as a coach,” Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said in a video on the national team website.
“I’m convinced he’s going to be a real successful figure for Belgian football as a coach. I have no doubts.”
He added: “We all feel sad we won’t see Vincent with the Red Devils anymore but this is the moment to look back and celebrate the incredible service that he has given over 16 years to the national team.”