City are the best: Kompany

Departing captain 'given everything' as sea of blue fetes Pep's 'Fourmidables' in Manchester

LONDON • Manchester City, branding themselves as "The Fourmidables", celebrated their domestic treble with an open-top bus parade on Monday, drawing an estimated 100,000 fans to the streets of the city centre.

Pep Guardiola's City became the first side to complete a clean sweep of all three major English trophies with last Saturday's 6-0 thrashing of Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

They had clinched a second successive Premier League title the previous week and also won the League Cup in February.

It was the fourth time in seven years the club had taken over the city centre for a celebratory parade.

Adding the Community Shield to the tally, the club showed off their trophies and had banners with the words "The Fourmidables".

The victorious squad were joined by members of the City women's team, who also won an FA Cup and League Cup double this year.

Manager Guardiola insisted he has not thought about next season, but admitted Vincent Kompany will be missed after the captain confirmed his departure to become player-manager at Anderlecht.

SIMPLY GREAT

The moment that ball against Leicester went 'top bins', I knew I was done. I couldn't do anything better. It felt right.

VINCENT KOMPANY, City's captain, who is leaving on a high to become Belgian club Anderlecht's player-manager.

"Zero," the Spaniard said when taking to the stage. "Now is time for good dinners and good wine. We will think about it in one month's time, and enjoy it now.

"I think we will miss Vincent a lot. He is coming back in the future in some way. It is an incredible way to finish the season."

Kompany said he realised the time was right to leave when he scored a stunning winner against Leicester in City's penultimate league match.

The 1-0 win took City to within one more win of the title, which they clinched with a 4-1 victory over Brighton on the last day.

Kompany said: "The moment that ball against Leicester went 'top bins', I knew I was done. I couldn't do anything better. It felt right."

The Belgian now expects the club to go on and achieve even greater success. "This team are ready to achieve so much more," he said.

"I've given everything I could for this club. I can't tell you how proud of that I am. I have nothing left. I have given everything."

He ended his speech by declaring City were the "best club in the world" regardless of European success: "I do not care if you win the Champions League or not, you are the best club in the world."

Organisers said the crowd for the parade, which culminated with the stage show outside Manchester Cathedral, was estimated to be around 100,000.

Before the parade, a video had emerged online of the league trophy being smashed to pieces at City's training ground, as players Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne looked on from a balcony above.

The video indicated that the trophy was dropped but the incident turned out to be just an elaborate prank for City's in-house City TV, as confirmed by Sky Sports.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2019, with the headline 'City are the best: Kompany'. Print Edition | Subscribe