Mancini criticizes Kompany for joining Belgium squad

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has accused center-back Vincent Kompany of defying his requests and putting country before club, after the twenty-six-year-old joined the Belgium squad for their World Cup qualifiers despite a calf injury. Kompany had not played a match for City since January, yet played the full ninety minutes against Macedonia on Tuesday. The Manchester City captain plays a key part in City’s defense, and Mancini wanted the player to be back to full fitness before playing.

“Sometimes players should understand that the club is more important,” Mancini said. “I am not saying the national team is not important, and I would never tell my players not to go to play for their country. But there are some cases when the club is more important, and all players should understand this.

“I knew he was joining up and asked him to stay here for treatment. I didn’t want him to play because it was a risk, and for us the next two months are really important.

“He said the manager (Belgium manager Marc Wilmots) had called him, and he should go. It is right that he should go and meet with the Belgium medical people, but then he should come back. It was important that Vinny should work here and ­prepare for the next game, and the next two months.

“I expected that he wouldn’t play, and that he would be back after one or two days. Instead, he played for 90 minutes and now we don’t know his condition. The calf is a difficult injury and we don’t know if he will be OK or not.”

City are currently fifteen points behind league leaders Manchester United in the Premier League, and will need their squad at peak fitness to stage a late comeback and regain the title they won last year. Kompany is expected to return to City starting-lineup against Newcastle on Saturday, and will stabilize the slightly rocky City defense.

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