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

Quick Reads

You can count the appearances, goals and trophies, but Vincent Kompany’s impact on Manchester City has been 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

It’s much nicer to think of Hart as he was back then (one of England’s most promising goalkeeping prospects) than he is now (one of England’s least promising goalkeeping prospects at Burnley), isn’t it?

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 two Russian Cups in the process.

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 career has been ravaged by injury since joining Aston Villa in 2015.

Richards’ contract at Villa Park expires this summer, but he last kicked a ball for the club in October 2016.

Tal Ben-Haim

Of course he’s still playing for Beitar Jerusalem and Israel at the age of 37. 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”.

Stephen Ireland

Come the end of the 2008-09, Ireland beat the likes of Kompany, Robinho and Elano to City’s Player of the Year crown.

The midfielder is still just 32 but was last seen being released by Bolton Wanderers in December 2018 without having played a single minute for the club.

Vincent Kompany

Kompany has not quite turned out to be the holding midfielder Mark Hughes seemed to think he was signing, but the Belgian has at least developed 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.

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 agent’s, 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 but seems to remain a fan of City, and Leroy Sane in particular.

“I don’t know who is faster, him or me!” he told City’s official website in March.


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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