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

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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 has been at the core of a group of senior players who have 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 joining Tottenham as back up for Hugo Lloris.

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 has been at Lokomotiv Moscow ever since, winning one Russian title and three Russian Cups along the way.

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.

Tal Ben-Haim

He’s still playing for Beitar Jerusalem at the age of 38. Of course he is.

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 midfielder is still just 33 but was last seen being released by Bolton Wanderers in December 2018 without playing a single minute for the club.

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.

READ: Vincent Kompany: As skillful as a winger, Mr Likeable and Man City’s rock

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.

Elano

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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