Few testimonials will have showcased such a glittering array of talent as the one Manchester City will hold for former captain Vincent Kompany.
The Belgian is the most decorated skipper in the history of the club, having joined just before the purchase by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008. It’s appropriate that the event for one of the Premier League’s best and most revered players should be represented by such a dazzling ensemble.
This week, Kompany will be front and centre in a Manchester City Legends side managed by current gaffer Pep Guardiola, taking on a Premier League All-Stars XI who have Kompany’s former national team boss Roberto Martinez at the helm.
The match takes place on Wednesday, September 11 at the Etihad Stadium, with all proceeds going towards Tackle4MCR. It's the initiative Vincent Kompany and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham have collaborated on to address rough sleeping and homelessness on the streets of the city. The event marks a return for Kompany to the Eastlands pitch just four months after ending his 11-year association with Manchester City to return to Anderlecht.
During his time at the club he won four Premier League titles and League Cups, and a brace of FA Cups. Duly, Kompany has assembled a side befitting a representation of that wealth of recent success for the Sky Blues.
Gone are the days of Paul Dickov, Shaun Goater and Nicky Weaver in a Legends line for Manchester City. A stunning smörgåsbord of familiar faces from their four Premier League successes form Kompany’s side including Samir Nasri, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Pablo Zabaleta, and David Silva. Leading the forward line is the Citizens’ all-time top goalscorer Sergio Agüero. The Argentine will be supported up-front by Benjani.
The pièce de résistance is headliner Thierry Henry, Martinez’ former assistant coach with Belgium. Henry reunites with fellow former Gunner Robin van Persie up-front for the All-Stars XI. First and eighth on the list of Arsenal’s all-time top goal-scorers, respectively, between them the two marksmen scored 360 goals for the North London club.
RVP, of course, won his first and only Premier League title after moving to City’s rivals Manchester United in 2012.
Five of Man Utd’s famed Class of ‘92 will be playing for the opposite side; the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and Nicky Butt.
Manchester City Legends – managed by Pep Guardiola
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Costel Pantilimon
Defenders: Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Richard Dunne, Gael Clichy
Midfielders: Nigel De Jong, Samir Nasri, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland, David Silva, Dietmar Hamann, James Milner
Forwards: Craig Bellamy, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Benjani
Premier League All-Stars XI – managed by Roberto Martinez
Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar, Shay Given
Defenders: Phil Neville, Gary Neville, John O’Shea, Wes Brown
Midfielders: Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Rafael van der Vaart, Cesc Fabregas
Forwards: Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie