REUTERS – Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany says he does not regret playing for Belgium during the international break against manager Manuel Pellegrini’s wishes and he will not allow the decision to hurt his relationship with the Chilean.
Kompany joined his national side this month for their European Championship qualifiers against Andorra and Israel despite carrying a calf injury he picked up on Sept. 15 that ruled him out of five games for his club.
Pellegrini made it clear that the defender was not fit to play for his country and although Kompany sat out the first qualifier against Andorra on Oct. 10, he played against Israel on Oct. 13, despite the game being a dead rubber as Belgium had already qualified for next year’s finals in France.
Upon his return from international duty, Kompany was dropped for City’s games against Bournemouth and Sevilla, but featured in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United, and the 29-year-old has admitted that the tug-of-war between club and country will always be a thorny issue.
“For now, the past and the future, it’s always going to be a little bit of a tricky situation,” Kompany was quoted as saying by the British media.
“They are two very important teams that have different goals and ambitions and it’s just normal that stuff like this happens.
“I would not have played (against Israel) if I was not fit. But I’m a professional… I just deal with it.
“I dealt with my decision and I didn’t have a problem with it. It’s fine. I work hard, always. I’m always positive for the team. It’s not at (the age of) 29 that I need too much explanation (from the manager) any more,” he said.
The Belgian captain also dismissed suggestions of a rift with Pellegrini, who has had to face questions about whether he was punishing the player by dropping him.
“The relationship is good,” Kompany said.
“The problem is there’s two opinionated people who have strong characters with a difference in opinion on one single subject, but it doesn’t compromise anything we do going forward. We still have the same goal.
“Every single time I’ve had the chance to put my boots on this term I’ve done very well, with my national team and club.
“I’m a team player. We all want to achieve the same thing in the end.”
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)