Kompany driven by family history as Burnley battle drop

AFP , Thursday 22 Feb 2024

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has revealed his father's experiences as a political refugee give him the drive and determination to lead the club's fight for Premier League survival.

Vincent Kompany
File Photo: Vincent Kompany s Burnley appear to be heading for Premier League relegation. AFP


The Clarets are on course for relegation after a 5-0 hammering at home to Arsenal left them in 19th place with just three wins this season, but Kompany's resolve has roots far beyond the football pitch.

Explaining his hunger to succeed, the former Manchester City captain cited his father Pierre, who fled what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo for Belgium as a dissident in 1975 having protested against the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.

He put his son on the path to a glittering sporting career and later became Belgium's first black mayor.

Offering an emotional account of his inner drive, Kompany said on Thursday: "It's a deep answer, it's about where you come from.

"Where I come from is my dad, who was a political refugee. He had to flee a country not just at war, but as a dictatorship where he was getting whipped in his twenties because he was against the regime over there.

"It's fleeing from one part of the country to the other, it's losing family members, it's everything you've experienced. It's where I come from.

"You say where does the drive and desire come from? I have so many reasons to have that fire in me every single day. So many reasons why I can't ever do less.

"It's bigger than one result, or a bad month, or anything like that."

Kompany, whose side face fellow strugglers Crystal Palace on Saturday, also pushed back against the notion that this season's struggles were a new experience for someone more accustomed to lifting silverware than fighting the drop.

"That's the bulk of the known experiences, yeah. But a gambler never tells you about his losses, right?" he said.

"That (a serial winner) is what you see, but my experiences feel different. I do feel I've had to overcome and do a lot to get where I was."

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