Pellegrini urges Belgium not to field Kompany

Vincent Kompany, who limped out of a Champions League tie against Juventus, has suffered calf woes in the last few years.
Vincent Kompany, who limped out of a Champions League tie against Juventus, has suffered calf woes in the last few years. PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Manuel Pellegrini has made it clear Vincent Kompany cannot play for Belgium in their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers owing to the recent calf injury sustained by the Manchester City captain.

He has been named in Belgium's squad for the matches against Andorra and Israel, despite having not played since City's 2-1 defeat by Juventus in the Champions League on Sept 15, when he limped off after 75 minutes.

In March 2013, Roberto Mancini, Pellegrini's predecessor at City, criticised Belgium manager Marc Wilmots for fielding Kompany against Macedonia after a 60-day absence due to a calf injury.

"I can't ask him not to travel. If the national team call him, he must go," said Pellegrini ahead of City's Premier League fixture against Newcastle today.

"But he cannot play so I don't think he will play and, in the same way, when you don't play for your national team, you cannot play after for your club; it must be the same in the other sense, if you cannot play for your squad, you cannot play for your national squad."

This is the 10th time Kompany has injured a calf in 31/2 years.

"It is a problem of course that in the last years, he has a lot of games that he cannot play for different muscle injuries," said his manager.

"In the way he works, I hope in the future he will have less injuries.

"I never complain about the players who cannot play.

"We have a squad.

"Without Vincent, we also win a lot of games. He is a very important player for us, our captain and we hope he will play soon again but, without Vincent, we can win."

The Chilean will also have to do without defender Gael Clichy as well as midfielders Fabian Delph, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure.

Newcastle have injury problems of their own.

Midfielders Gabriel Obertan, Rolando Aarons and Jack Colback are all out of contention alongside full-back Massadio Haidara.

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has taken heart from his side's 2-2 draw against champions Chelsea last week and has urged his team to play without fear at the Etihad Stadium.

"After seven games, we are starting to get a little closer to our starting XI, our system of play and our style," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2015, with the headline 'Pellegrini urges Belgium not to field Kompany'. Print Edition | Subscribe