Vincent Kompany will take on a player-manager role at Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht after calling time on his 11-year spell at Manchester City.
It was confirmed on Sunday that Kompany would be leaving Premier League champions City, with the Belgium defender ending his career at the club by winning a domestic treble.
Now his next move has been revealed, with the 33-year-old announcing that he is to take his first steps into coaching at Anderlecht, the club where he started his career, signing a three-year deal as player-manager.
And Kompany says Pep Guardiola has served as the inspiration for his decision to re-join Anderlecht, stating that the City boss allowed him to rediscover his love of football.
"The end of this season couldn’t be more memorable. I have lived the dream here," Kompany wrote on his official Facebook page.
"I have learned so much the last three years from an incredible manager. Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game.
"I've witnessed, participated, analysed, absorbed, studied. Man City play the football I want to play. It is the football I want to teach and to see played.
"I have decided to take up the challenge at Anderlecht. Player-manager. I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations. With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium.
"This may come as a surprise to you. It's the most passionate yet rational decision I've ever made. As a footballer, I was born and raised at Anderlecht. Since the age of six, I have been one with that club. A history of 34 league titles, they are second to none."
Kompany left Anderlecht to join Hamburg in 2006, spending two seasons in Germany before transferring to City in 2008, going on to win four league titles, two FA Cups and four EFL Cups.
RSCA had a disappointing campaign under Hein Vanhaezebrouck and then caretaker Karim Belhocine, finishing fourth in the league, and sixth in the subsequent play-offs, as well as failing to make inroads in either the Belgian Cup or the Europa League.
Kompany explained it was a chance meeting that set the wheels in motion for what looks set to be an emotional return to his boyhood club.
"I stopped at their training grounds on my way to international duty last year, just to say hello," he continued.
"Marc Coucke, the chairman, and Sports Director Michael Verschueren asked my opinion regarding the difficult situation the club was in.
"I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to number one. I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it.
"Anderlecht has a tradition of having fantastic youth. You could say they have the past and the future but struggle with the present."
Kompany went on to put together some sessions with Anderlecht's technical director Frank Arnesen – formerly of Hamburg, Chelsea and Tottenham – on "how to build a strong playing identity", work that apparently left a strong impression.
"Not so long ago, I took a call from Anderlecht. Quite unexpectedly, they offered me the position of player-manager. Michael and Frank explained to me in detail how they saw it working in practice. They had thought it through," he added.
"Mr. Coucke, the owner, pledged full support: time, budget, framework, staff, facilities. I was left not only impressed, but also intrigued by this sign of confidence in me."
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