Where are they now? Man City’s XI on Vincent Kompany’s debut in 2008

You can count all the appearances, goals and trophies, but Vincent Kompany’s impact on Manchester City was immeasurable.

Nobody could have predicted the success Kompany would have at City after joining from Hamburg in 2008, but he was at the core of a group of senior players who led the club to unprecedented glory.

We’ve taken a look back at the team which Kompany made his City debut alongside in a 3-0 win over West Ham in August 2008, secured thanks to a goal from Daniel Sturridge and Elano’s brace.

Joe Hart

Hart was a wonderful servant for Manchester City, but his career has nosedived ever since Pep Guardiola arrived at the Etihad.

The former England No.1 did enjoy a decent season out on loan at Torino in Serie A, but a spell at West Ham the following season was less successful.

He joined Burnley in 2018 but was released on a free transfer two years later after only 24 appearances, then joined Tottenham as backup for Hugo Lloris.

In the summer of 2021, Hart moved to Celtic after his single season with Spurs and has enjoyed something of a late-career resurgence up in Scotland, winning back-to-back league titles under Ange Postecoglou.

Vedran Corluka

Have we played too much Football Manager or was Corluka a very good defender for both City and Tottenham?

After five years in England, he left Tottenham permanently in 2012 and joined Lokomotiv Moscow, where he spent nine seasons, winning one Russian title and four Russian Cups along the way.

Since retiring in 2021, Corluka has become the assistant manager of the Croatian national team.

Micah Richards

Having just turned 20 at the time of Kompany’s debut, Richards, like Hart, was regarded as one of England’s brightest young prospects.

The defender was a key player alongside Kompany in City’s first Premier League title win, earning a nomination for the club’s Player of the Year award, but his late career was ravaged by injury after he joined Aston Villa in 2015.

Richards did not actually leave Villa Park until 2019, but he last kicked a ball for the club in October 2016.

Since hanging up his boots, the former England international has gone on to become one of the most popular pundits on television.

Tal Ben-Haim

He somehow only retired a couple of years ago, having played for Beitar Jerusalem until the age of 39. Fair play.

Michael Ball

Having received an OBE in 2015 for his services to musical theatre, Ball is currently promoting his new album ‘Coming Home To You’, which he describes as his “most personal yet”.

Oh, that one? He’s speaking to us mainly, about his one cap for England, about City targeting Rio Ferdinand to win the derby in 2008, and about the madness of Thaksin Shinawatra’s time in charge of the club. He’s a top fella.

Thaksin Shinawatra

READ: Michael Ball recalls Man City ‘madness’: Thaksin Shinawatra gave us a team talk

Stephen Ireland

Ireland beat the likes of Kompany, Robinho and Elano to City’s Player of the Year crown in 2008-09. He was that good.

The 36-year-old former midfielder was last seen being released by Bolton Wanderers in December 2018 without playing a single minute for the club.

Earlier this year, Ireland was back in the headlines after giving some wild quotes in the media.

“Steven Gerrard for example, Frank Lampard, every time I played against them I’ve got the better of them,” he said. When we said he was that good, we didn’t mean he was that good.

Vincent Kompany

Kompany didn’t quite turn out to be the holding midfielder Mark Hughes seemed to think he was signing, but the Belgian did develop into quite possibly the greatest leader Manchester City have ever been able to rely on. Four league titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and countless moments which will live long in the hearts of City fans. A legend.

Now a very promising coach, Kompany is gearing up for his first Premier League campaign as a manager, having worked miracles to deprogramme Burnley out of playing Dycheball and into free-flowing attacking football.

Kompany’s Clarets went up emphatically as champions and we can’t wait to see what they’re made of in the top flight.

READ: Newcastle, Sunderland, Burnley – what happened next for the best-ever Championship teams

Michael Johnson

A cautionary tale, Johnson appeared to have the world at his feet when he burst onto the scene at City but was released in 2012 at the age of 24 over two years after his last appearance for the club amid struggles with his fitness and mental health.

In 2015, he opened an estate agents, one of a number of business ventures he has started since quitting the game.

Martin Petrov

In three years at City, Petrov played under Sven Goran Eriksson, Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini, witnessing first-hand the transformation of the club.

The winger retired in 2014 after a spell back in his native Bulgaria with CSKA Sofia, though perhaps his career highlight came a year earlier when he turned out in the Manchester Saturday Morning League, where our gaffer was also plying his trade.

Unlike Petrov, the gaffer’s still there. Longevity.


A mercurial talent who could be absolutely f*cking brilliant on his day, Elano retired in 2016 after returning to Santos, who he has since managed twice in an interim capacity.

Daniel Sturridge

The only player on this list with a Champions League winners’ medal, which seems weird.

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