‘My goal was to put the fastest winger on Gary Neville’s side!’: Vincent Kompany targets old Manchester United rival as likes of Thierry Henry and Mario Balotelli turn out for City legend’s testimonial
- Vincent Kompany’s testimonial will take place at 7.45pm on Wednesday night
- A host of Premier League legends will be turning out for the special fixture
- Pep Guardiola will manage City legends, with Roberto Martinez his opponent
- Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Robin van Persie each return
The former City captain is to be honoured by the club who he left at the end of last season, after guiding them to the sixth top flight title of City’s history.
All the big names are set to turn out for the amiable Belgian, who will go down in the history books as one of the Premier League’s all-time greatest defenders.
Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany is to be honoured at the Etihad with a testimonial
A host of stars including fiery duo Nigel de Jong and Mario Balotelli will return to the pitch
With kick-off pencilled in for 7.45pm, Kompany’s team of City legends will take on a select Premier League All Stars XI.
Pep Guardiola and Roberto Martinez will take to the dug-out for the fixture, with a couple of star-studded squads at their disposal.
City fans will take a trip down memory lane with the likes of Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and Richard Dunne comprising the defensive lines.
In midfield, the timeless David Silva will feature alongside the likes of Dietmar Hamann, Shaun Wright-Phillips and the fiery Nigel de Jong – who is still enjoying his playing days at 34 for Qatar Stars League club Al-Shahania.
Midfielder James Milner, who plays for rivals Liverpool, is in line for an interesting reception
Manchester City Legends – managed by Pep Guardiola
Joe Hart, Costel Pantilimon – Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Richard Dunne, Gael Clichy – Nigel de Jong, Samir Nasri, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland, David Silva, Dietmar Hamann, James Milner – Craig Bellamy, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Benjani
Premier League All-Stars XI – Managed by Roberto Martinez
Edwin van der Sar, Shay Given – Phil Neville, Gary Neville, John O’Shea, Wes Brown – Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Rafael van der Vaart, Cesc Fabregas – Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie
James Milner is set for an interesting reception, making his first return since signing for rivals Liverpool, while the once star prospect of the Etihad – Stephen Ireland – will also feature.
The enigma that is Mario Balotelli, still loved by City supporters, will reunite up front with the man for who he laid on his iconic assist against Queens Park Rangers to win the title in 2012 – Sergio Aguero.
Lining up for the Premier League All Stars XI, fans will see a heavy Manchester United contingent with the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, John O’Shea, Wes Brown – Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs all on show.
Icons of the Premier League era such as Ryan Giggs and Thierry Henry will be on show
Thierry Henry, Rafael van der Vaart and Cesc Fabregas will also be in the mix.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the event, Kompany said: ‘There are so many old faces, and I want to see who is still in shape and who is not anymore! I remember a lot of conversations in the dressing room… ‘What are you going to do when you stop playing?’
The Belgian also went on to joke he was sad that the injured Leroy Sane could not feature… as he wanted his lightening pace to terrify United fans’ favourite Gary Neville.
On the touchline Pep Guardiola will go up against current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez
‘It’s unfortunate that Leroy Sane is out with a knee injury, because I would have put him on Gary Neville.
‘My goal was to put the fastest winger I could find on Gary Neville’s side! Unless he goes and hides at centre-back, we’ll see.’
Money raised from the match will go to charity Tackle4MCR, an initiative Kompany set up with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to address rough sleeping and homelessness in the city.
The fixture will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, with coverage beginning at 7pm.