Belfast Telegraph

Manuel Pellegrini: I can't stop Vincent Kompany playing for Belgium

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini admits he would be powerless to stop Belgium playing captain Vincent Kompany in their final Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is heading for a potential clash with Pellegrini after naming the injured City skipper in his squad for the upcoming fixtures against Andorra and Israel.

The influential defender has missed City's last four games with a calf problem and has also been ruled out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Newcastle.

Pellegrini claims the 29-year-old will not be fit for another fortnight and Belgium will soon realise that.

But Wilmots, who has a right to have Kompany examined by his own medical staff, is hopeful the player could face Israel on October 13.

Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference, said: "Of course it's outside the control of any club manager. The national team have a list of the players that play for them and they have, in the international break, the authority to use them.

"We can't do anything about that because they have the decision - but he cannot play.

"I hope that Vincent can return after the international break but I am not sure. I hope that after 15 days he will be able to play but the calf is a difficult muscle. We must see in the way he improves."

Wilmots delivered a more upbeat assessment of Kompany's condition as he spoke to media following his squad announcement.

He told reporters in Belgium: "I talked to Vincent on the phone yesterday. He missed a few games but now he is fit.

"Vincent is coming. After consulting with Manchester City and the medical staff he will follow a tailored fitness programme.

"On Monday he starts to run again. He won't play Saturday against Andorra but there's a big chance that against Israel he will be fit to play.

"Anyway I wanted Vincent with us, he will follow his schedule with us. But we won't take risks with him."

City have clashed with Belgium over their captain in the past. In March 2013 former City manager Roberto Mancini criticised Wilmots for picking Kompany to face Macedonia despite a lengthy lay-off with a calf injury.

Pellegrini was insistent there would be no repeat this time simply because Kompany will not be fit.

He said: "I can't ask him not to travel - if the national team call him, he must go. He is an important player, he must be with his mates and Belgium are playing important games for the next European Championship.

"It is not a problem for him to go to the national squad but he cannot play.

"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."


From Belfast Telegraph