Vincent Kompany (r.) received a ringing endorsement from Pep Guardiola (l.) before taking over at Bayern Munich. - © Imago
Vincent Kompany (r.) received a ringing endorsement from Pep Guardiola (l.) before taking over at Bayern Munich. - © Imago

Vincent Kompany: 10 things on the new Bayern Munich head coach


Vincent Kompany has the backing of Pep Guardiola to succeed at Bayern Munich - but how did he get to be in the hot seat at the Allianz Arena? finds out more on the life and times of the Belgian defender-turned-coach...

Bayern appoint Kompany to succeed Tuchel!

1) Pep talk

"I have the biggest admiration for his work, personality and expertise. It doesn't matter if he got relegated with Burnley. I would love Bayern to take the best decision," Guardiola said when asked about Kompany's rumoured switch to the record champions.

Kompany played under the learned Catalan at Manchester City between 2016 and 2019, after all. He got his hands on two English Premier League titles during that spell, adding to the two he won in 2011/12 and 2013/14. The Belgian centre-back also lifted two FA Cups, two League Cups and two FA Community Shields across a 360-game stint, spanning 11 years. He was club captain for eight of them.

Bayern's supervisory board member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge later revealed that the club even spoke to their former coach about the 38-year-old's credentials: "Pep gave us a big helping hand. He was full of praise, and his opinion means a lot to us."

2) Bundesliga know-how

Kompany's summer 2008 move to City predated the Guardiola era by eight years, and followed a two-year stay in the Germany with Hamburg. He featured 51 times in all competitions for the Red Shorts, but only 29 in the Bundesliga, in part due to an injury-hit debut campaign. His final outing for the club was as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with new employers Bayern, at the Allianz Arena.

3) He's multilingual

Kompany acquired a solid grasp of German whilst at Hamburg. Adding to the pot, the Uccle native speaks Belgian, French and perfect English, as well as being extremely well versed in the slide tackle and winning top honours. "He's fresh, has seen it all and speaks the players' languages, which I think is essential, especially at FC Bayern," former Bayern midfielder Stefan Effenberg told T-Online.

Kompany (l.) was just 20 when he joined Hamburg from Anderlecht. - imago sportfotodienst

4) Back to his roots

Kompany's coaching career began back at boyhood club Anderlecht, where he had won two Jupiler Pro League titles as a player. After assuming a player-coach role in 2019/20, the retired centre-back took to the dugout on a full-time basis across the next two seasons, overseeing third and fourth-placed league finishes, with a points average of 1.70, measured over 90 games.

5) Championship success

Kompany traded Anderlecht for Burnley in 2022. He steered the Clarets to promotion from the Championship in his debut season in charge - with a division record tally of 101 points at that. They won 29 of their 46 matches, whilst losing just three, as Kompany transformed a team synonymous with a dogged 4-4-2 formation into an easy-on-the-eye, ball-hogging machine.

6) A leader then and now

It was by no means a given that Kompany's success at the heart of the defence for club and country would translate into the technical area, but there were certainly signs it might. As well as skippering Man City and Anderlecht, he captained Belgium during successful 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 UEFA Euro qualifying campaigns. The 6'2" sentry - part of the team that claimed bronze at the 2018 World Cup - won his last of 89 senior caps in a Euro 2020 qualifying win over Scotland on 11 June 2019.

Kompany (No.4) was a key part of the Belgium national team's so-called 'golden generation'. - Imago

7) A fighter, like his Dad

All too famiilar with the emotional roller-coaster ride that is professional football - not least after Burnley's relegation from the Premier League at the end of 2023/24 - Kompany says it is his father's battles as a political refugee that fuel his drive and determination to stick at it.

In 1975, Pierre Kompany fled what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo for Belgium as a dissident, having protested against the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. He later put his son a path to a decorated football career, before becoming Belgium's first black mayor. "Where I come from is my Dad," Vincent explained. "His experiences give me strength."

8) He's a philanthropist

Kompany's upbringing informs much of what he does. Rather than entertaining the materialistic trappings of superstardom, he'd much rather give something back.

"I never thought I could enjoy all this wealth without putting it to good use," the former Belgium international told CNN's Human to Hero series. "I always said to my mother, 'The richer I get, the better it is for a lot of people, so don’t worry about it.' I’ve kept that since I was 17, I’ve always done it. I started looking after my family first and then I moved on to look after people in my neighbourhood where I came from, and now I am happy to say that I put more than 1,000 kids out to play football every single week."

Among his other charitable endeavors, Kompany donated the proceeds from his Man City testimonial to Burnham's 'A Bed Every Night' scheme, designed to make good on the local mayor's promise to end rough sleeping in the city. The project has now grown to provide single-room emergency accommodation for over 550 people across Greater Manchester's 10 boroughs.

Kompany (r.) with wife Carla (l.) at a charity event in May 2014. - Imago

9) Channelling personal tragedy for the good

Ensuring cancer sufferers get the treatment they need is another issue close to Kompany's heart, after losing his mother to the disease. His sister endured her own cancer battle whilst he was playing for Hamburg in his early 20s, but survived.

"They went through the same treatments at the same time, even though the cancers were different, and I am really happy that my sister was lucky enough to have the right therapy to get through it," Kompany recalled. "My mother passed away, but my sister - even though she had the difficult time of losing our mother - a couple of months later got the green light about her disease."

That personal loss meant Kompany was only too happy to open the £17m Radiotherapy Centre at the Royal Oldham Hospital in 2010. Down the years, he has also teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to give a young Man City fan - who had his leg amputated after being diagnosed with a form of bone cancer - a dream day out, whilst pledging funds to the Beards Against The Cancer charity.

10) A scholar and a gentleman

As a tribute to his late mother, Jocelyn, Kompany decided to pursue something more meaningful than money and trophies. He duly enrolled at Manchester Business School, before graduating with an MBA in 2017. For his dissertation, he explored how professional football clubs in the Premier League can benefit from home advantage and achieve game-changing levels of improvement by natural means.

"My mother was always someone who pushed me to get educated, and to work on my academic side," Kompany explained in an interview with Thought Ecomomics. "She always made me remember that football could be temporary; what if I broke a leg? What if I lose my ability to play? She never wanted me to give up my dreams, but to be smart and hedge my bets. Her form of doing this was education, and when she passed, this became more important to me; I wanted to make her proud."