Vincent Kompany: Lead your team

Warm up your vocal cords and throw yourself in the line of fire with six lessons in leadership from Manchester City and Belgium’s super-skipper

Stay true to yourself

Don’t let the armband change you
“I didn’t become captain when I was given the armband. When I first signed for City – when I wasn’t a star player – I had the same attitude and believed in my own qualities. I’ve never been shy, nor thought another player is more important than me. Way before I got the armband, I already had a relationship with the team and knew they’d listen if I put something forward. Captaincy feels natural to me because I have always been this kind of person – even as a young boy.”

Be the middle man

Talk to the manager for the players
“Every day I answer a lot of questions that people already know the answer to: ‘Can you ask the manager if we can have an extra day off next week?’ – that type of thing. You ask the manager, knowing it’s going to be ‘no’. They ask you: ‘What did he say?’ and you tell them he said ‘no’. As the captain, it’s up to you to organise stuff for the team, like social events and fines. You need to make sure everyone gets given the same attention.”

More after the break

Support your team-mates

Offer counsel when it’s needed
“Patrick Vieira often asks the older pros to give the younger players a few words of advice, which we’re always happy to do. If I can pass my experience on to a younger player and help them develop, great. Sometimes you have to put your arm around a player; other times you have to give them some constructive criticism. We’ve created a good environment where everyone is trying to help each other. I like to read up on different things to improve my leadership skills.”

Set an example

Compete for everything
“Leading by example is part of what I try to do. When I was 17, 18, I was the same personality. I came into the dressing room, had very strong opinions and wasn’t shy about sharing them. When you say something, make it count, and train hard every day. Whatever game we play, I’m always competitive. Whether you’re on the losing team in training or in a game, there’s a lot of people in a bad mood. That’s how top football should be – competitive.”

Rally the troops

Make your voice heard
“I shout before we go out and when we’re on the pitch to fire up the team. So does Joe Hart. There are moments when you need to get a message across and you have to do it calmly. When things aren’t going well, you need to be more vocal and tell the team it’s not over yet. If we are losing, we’ll tell each other to keep going – to keep running. This helps the team raise its level. First it’s the attitude, then you have to show your passion – shout that you’re going to do better.”

Fight fires on the pitch

Be the team’s calming influence
“When a scuffle kicks off on the pitch you, as the team captain, need to be the first in there to calm it down. Sometimes you need to help the referee, as it’s not always easy for them. But sometimes you have to defend a team-mate because experienced opponents will try to be clever and influence the referee. I’ll always be the first player over there to make sure the voice of our team is heard and that the players are being protected.”

Vincent Kompany wears the new Warrior Skreamer Pro. For more information go to or follow @WARRIOR_FTBL

For more football tips see:
Bryan Robson: How to be the ultimate captain
Michael Ballack: The secrets to leadership
Ashley Williams: Becoming a captain
Peter Taylor: Selecting a captain
Lead like John Terry

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