– Pep Guardiola says Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is one of the “biggest legends” he has managed as he prepares to welcome the former Manchester City captain back to Etihad Stadium.
– Premier League winners City meet the runaway Championship leaders in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
– Kompany, 36, won four Premier League titles during his 11 years at City.
Also Read: Guardiola expects Kompany to be his successor at Man City
– “He was an incredible figure here. He is one of the biggest legends I have had,” Guardiola said of Kompany.
– The 52-year-old joked: “But I am a little bit concerned because when you start to play a game against a player you had on the touchline, you realise how old you are becoming!”
– Former Belgium defender Kompany, who left City to join Anderlecht as player-manager in 2019, has made a huge impact since taking charge of Burnley last summer.
– The Clarets are 13 points clear at the top of the Championship and need just three wins from their final nine matches to seal a return to the Premier League.
– “I am extremely grateful for every moment I’ve been able to experience at Manchester City,” said Kompany.
– “But I have to approach this game in the same way I approached every game at Manchester City, which is to do my job and live for that.”
– Kompany’s final game as Manchester City captain was the club’s 2019 FA Cup final win over Watford, which secured a domestic treble that year.
– His Burnley side has scored 74 goals in 37 league games this season, conceding just 29. They have only lost twice in the Championship – and not since 5 November.
– “From what I have seen, I’m not surprised at all with their position or what they have done in the Championship,” Guardiola said.
– “They will be a really tough opponent because they do incredible things on the pitch.
– “They’re so close to being a Premier League team. The way they play is exceptional.”
– Asked if he believed Kompany might one day return to the club, Guardiola said: “After seeing his team, I’m more than convinced he’s going to come back.
– “When? I don’t know, but it’s going to happen,” he added.