Vincent Kompany said he had “given everything” to Manchester City as he bade an emotional farewell to the club in front of 100,000 fans.
The long-serving captain announced on Sunday was leaving City after 11 successful years to take up the role of player-manager at Anderlecht.
Consequently the 33-year-old was the star of the show as City celebrated this season’s historic treble with an open-top bus parade through Manchester city centre on Monday.
Speaking as the parade culminated with a stage show outside Manchester Cathedral, the Belgian 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.”
Kompany’s future had been the subject of speculation for some time but he realised the time was right to leave when he scored a spectacular winner against Leicester earlier this month.
Kompany’s long-range strike, in their penultimate game of the season, took City within one game of retaining their Premier League title.
He 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 to even greater success in the future.
Kompany, who ended his speech with a ‘mic drop’, said: “Eleven years at this club, what a journey we’ve been on. We were always a great club without silverware but now we’ve got silverware and I’m really proud.
“This group of players – we’ve given you something you deserved for a long time. Now this team is ready to achieve so much more.”
Kompany won 10 major trophies during his time with City, culminating with Saturday’s FA Cup final victory over Watford.
Manager Pep Guardiola paid tribute to his captain and tipped him to return to City in some capacity in the future.
He said: “I think we’re going to miss him a lot. I’m going to miss him but he is going to see us in the future because he is coming back sooner or later.
“It’s the best way to say goodbye after an incredible season together. He was a real captain, he helped us a lot. We’re going to show him how we love him.”
Guardiola, who was wearing a flat cap in tribute to the late Bernard Halford, the club’s life president who died recently, said he had thought “zero” about next season.
— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) May 20, 2019
He said: “Now it’s time to have good food, good wine and enjoy this incredible season together. In a few weeks we are going to think about it. Now we are going to enjoy what we have done.”
Organisers of the event estimated the crowd to be around 100,000. Banners branded City as ‘The Fourmidables’, reflecting their treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup along with the Community Shield.
It was the first time any side had completed a clean sweep of all the domestic trophies. City were also joined by their victorious women’s side, who won an FA Cup and League Cup double.