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Kompany racially abused as a child

ESPN staff
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Vincent Kompany has revealed he left Anderlecht because he could not get into the first team © Getty Images
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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany may be in line for a new contract worth at least £60 million but a new book reveals that life has been far from easy for the respected defender.

The Belgium international grew up in Brussels and began his career in a multi-cultural team but said adults taunted him and other children and grandchildren of immigrants with racist words.

In a new Flemish-language biography "Vincent Kompany - Van Ket tot Kapitein", he is quoted as saying: "Our team had lads with African, Turkish and Italian origins. Whenever we played matches outside Brussels we got dog's abuse from our opponents' parents.

"Boys of 11 or 12 were being called 'dirty n****r'. They also claimed the African lads were older than the ages in their passports, while the referees did nothing. Racism and inequality make me rebel."

Kompany made his professional debut at Anderlecht but said he had initially left the club in frustration at his inability to get into the first team.

"I quit playing football for two weeks at Anderlecht," he said.

"I played well for their youth side but couldn't break into the senior squad. It was always the same story - they preferred the players they'd signed to their own youth products and I found it very hard to accept."

Kompany, who speaks five languages and is also the captain of his country, has earned a reputation as one of the more intelligent and eloquent footballers.

But he was not a model student as his schoolwork suffered after his parents separated. The book quotes him as saying: "I can imagine the teachers found me pretentious. Sometimes I was wrong, sometimes I was right.

"My parents split up when I was 14. I couldn't understand why and it hurt.

"Luckily, I knew other kids with divorced parents, so I didn't feel alone and I took refuge in football.

"My father lost his job, I was thrown out of school and had to repeat a year and lost my place in the Belgium youth team. I had problems with teachers and coaches, hung out more on the streets and had friends who misbehaved."

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