From the very first act against Manchester United in 2012, to possibly the final act against Leicester City in 2019, the sight of Manchester City’s iconic leader striding away and leaping for glory has been a familiar sight.
Vincent Kompany has defined a generation of Blue prosperity and domination after several decades of second fiddling. Long-suffering City fans no longer need to reminisce of the days of Francis Lee, Collin Bell and Mike Summerbee to remember a successful City team.
The Belgium captain has well and truly cemented his name straight into the pantheon of City greats as the latest act of leading against Leicester only serves to uncover the rest of the Kompany story. It is a story of standing tall and being counted when the proverbial ‘squeaky bum time’ posits itself front and centre in a title race.
Whether it is his towering header against bitter rivals Manchester United in 2012 en route to the most dramatic title win of all time, or sealing the title in 2014 against West Ham during Liverpool’s hitherto most compelling title challenge, Kompany has an impressive record of playing a decisive role in title races.
His outrageous bolt from the blue which shattered both Leicester and Liverpool hearts, only adds to the Kompany legend and might be a fitting ending to the most successful period in Manchester City’s history.
Under Kompany’s captaincy, City have amassed four league titles and the FA cup where he stands equal second alongside Roy Keane on four league titles as captain behind only John Terry with five title wins.
With the exception of 2017-18’s title triumph, it is a remarkable statistic to find that the aggregate points separating City and the runners up in three other title winning campaigns equals only three points (winning on goal difference in 2012, 2 points in 2014 and 1 point in 2019).
This demonstrates how incredibly tight the title races have been and how vital it has been for a figure of strength such as the blues skipper to rise to occasion for these titles to actually be ‘won’ instead of merely ‘earned’.
Kompany’s strike against Leicester will surely go down as one of the iconic moments in history given its magnificence and the magnitude of what was at stake. And fittingly, it encapsulated the very essence and DNA of Kompany the player and the leader.
A genuine colossus in both stature and heart, the sight of a prime Kompany lunging with inch perfect precision with his telescopic reach like a predator setting out the food chain on the pitch while at the same time demonstrating culture, elegance and poise on the ball with a gracefulness which belies his physicality and domineering instincts.
The way Kompany refuses to allow a crowded Leicester City box to deter him from going straight for the kill as he demonstrated with a rocket of a shot that was both thunder and lightning combined, was testament his leadership.
The way he seized the moment encapsulates the consistent narrative of Kompany the adopted Mancunian, the foreigner who came to become on of ‘them’ and came to care and love City, the club as much as the City of Manchester itself.
It is cliché, but in that moment of immaculate technique and single mindedness, Kompany simply wanted it more.
Over the last decade, the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Joe Hart have all made telling contributions to the City success story under the ownership of Sheik Mansour and leadership of Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
From Toure’s Cup final strike against Stoke to Aguero’s dramatic title clincher, there have been several memorable moments from City’s now ageing spine over the years.
However, nobody has left as indelible a mark on the club as City’s spiritual and natural leader who has transcended time, injury and history to be the driving and defining force behind the blue moon of Manchester City rising to new heights.
If this is the end of the line for Kompany and Manchester City, what a way it would be to go out with a domestic treble.