Vincent Kompany is a football legend known for his impressive career spanning across Anderlecht and Manchester City, where he captained a team of serial winners, collecting four Premier League titles and 12 trophies in all. Notably, he was part of the Belgian national team that secured the third place in the 2018 World Cup. While he is now leading Championship leaders Burnley towards the first league title of his fledgling managerial career, one may wonder about the experiences that shaped Kompany’s off-pitch persona. In an exclusive interview with former Downing Street director of communications and strategy and Burnley fan Alastair Campbell, Kompany shares about his heritage, life lessons from his parents, racial integration in Belgium, leadership styles, Pep Guardiola’s influence on his professional mindset, and more.
Kompany’s father had to flee Congo due to his opposition to the Mobutu regime, which turned out to be one of the bloodiest dictatorships in Africa or the world. Being a union leader, his mother always stood against injustice. These leaders and their personalities have left an indelible mark on Kompany, who emphasizes teamwork while seeking the right answer. In Belgium, where racial integration is worse than in England, simple things like finding apartments and job opportunities, as well as getting into certain schools, became challenging for black citizens. Acknowledging this reality early on, Kompany became resilient and fought harder. As a leader, he looks for the right answer and collaborates with his team members to create a conducive environment for success.
Kompany’s view of the game changed under Pep Guardiola, who introduced a strategic, objective, and chess-like approach to football. On Burnley far exceeding expectations, Kompany expects their rebuild plan would have resulted in promotion in two or three years but that they achieved it sooner than expected. It’s now time to show self-sustainability, acquire new values and assets, and try to give themselves a chance to get promoted. Watch Burnley vs. Sunderland on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 7 pm on Friday, with kick-off at 8 pm.
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