Kompany kicks his World Cup hurt into touch
- 17 March 2010 10:38
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Vincent Kompany will be hurting again this summer - but this time it will be Belgium's absence from the World Cup rather than a serious foot injury causing the big man's pain.
Versatile Vinny, signed from Hamburg last year as a midfielder, has recovered from his surgery to become a rock at centre-half as City chase that all-important final Champions League spot.
But while his own fortunes soar, his country's have dipped, and a fourth-place finish in their qualifying group means Kompany & Co must sit out the South Africa spectacular in June.
Vincent, focusing on a top-four berth for the Blues, has shelved his World Cup disappointment after Belgium trailed in behind Bosnia, Turkey and predictable group winners Spain.
Blues team-mates are relishing the biggest stage of all, and he admitted: "I would have liked to be there but we didn't deserve to be there, so no regrets. If you don't belong somewhere, that's how it is."
Belgium were fourth in the 1986 World Cup but have failed to reach the finals since 2002, and Kompany said: "Times change. Back in the day, there wasn't so much money involved.
"Small countries now can send their players over to England and Spain and they become better players ... there's just so much more competition to get to the World Cup finals.
"The Belgian League used to be strong, our teams were winning in Europe, but not any more. And when you try to qualify you have to fight against teams that have players from top sides.
"A country like Belgium has been fortunate to always be able to achieve, but I don't think our position is shocking. I think we can start achieving more now.
"Looking to the future, we've got a much better team now and in the next few years we are going to be one of the good little countries in international football."