Aleks Zinchenko cried when Man City legend Vincent Kompany left this summer

Posted Monday, July 22, 2019 by

ALEKS ZINCHENKO cried when Vincent Kompany announced he was leaving Manchester City in May.

The legendary skipper stood up and told his team-mates in the Wembley dressing room, just minutes after he had lifted the FA Cup.

Aleks Zinchenko cried when Man City legend Vincent Kompany left this summer
Aleks Zinchenko admits he cried when Vincent Kompany left Man CityCredit: Manchester City FC - Getty

And for fellow defender Zinchenko it was all a bit too much to bear.

Kompany had played a key part in helping boss Pep Guardiola convert the Ukrainian from a midfielder to a left-back.

And the switch had been so successful that he will start the new season as first choice in the position.

Kompany's farewell speech after 11 years at the club only came to light last week when it featured in a new  documentary put out by City.

Zinchenko said: "I was  crying to be honest because nobody was waiting for that.

"I would definitely like to stay in touch  with him.

"For me he is a life legend. I am so lucky.  He's the smartest guy I've ever known.

"Last season, Vincent was helping me a lot. Outside the pitch, inside the pitch, about this position.

"I remember a few times he took me out after training and he would work with me for around 40 minutes to try to help me."


Zinchenko will no longer have Kompany to guide him though after he became player-manager of Anderlecht back in his native Belgium.

He will also have to  keep hold of the position  amid competition from  Benjamin Mendy and new signing Angelino.

But the fact he is now ahead of those in  Guardiola's pecking order shows how far he has come.

Zinchenko, 22, said: "That's why everyone is here.

"Everyone is waiting for the chance to show the level and to be their No 1.

"This is the first step, to become the first number, then the most important thing is to stay there.

"In the national team I play in the middle, in Manchester City at left-back, so I feel comfortable both sides.

"Football is crazy, everything can change like that.

"You can be top today but tomorrow it's again, again again, you have to work a  lot, especially when you  are around so many  top professionals.

"Last season for me, Fabian Delph was  unbelievable. Even when  he didn't play he was working a lot. That gave you more motivation."


Zinchenko's rise is also surprising given that this time last year he looked certain to be on his way out of the Etihad, with a £16million move to Wolves lined up.

And this summer he was rewarded for his loyalty and improvement with a new long-term deal  at City.

He said: "It's a massive dream, to be part of the squad and part of this huge family.

"Straight after the season I was talking to the club about a new contract. I signed it straight away."

Zinchenko has a new shirt number of 11 to go with his new deal — but is hoping it will be the same old City  next season.

Despite winning all three major domestic trophies last season, City failed in Europe and Zinchenko still believes there is a lot of room  for improvement.

He said: "Why not? Of course. We are still improving ourselves.

"We are on the right way, so we will see what happens this season but definitely we are going to work a lot on it."

Aleks Zinchenko was speaking at the Manchester City fanzone at PUMA's flagship store in Shanghai during the club's pre-season tour of Asia.

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