Manchester City have seen massive change in the past two seasons as the club was purchased by Abu Dhabi and instantly skyrocketed to become the richest in the world. Vincent Kompany is a man at the heart of the Eastlands revolution and the Belgium star is expected to have a big future with the Premier League side.

Having joined the club in the same year the takeover took place – 2008 – the defender-cum-midfielder has already established himself as a key man. Inside Futbol’s Alec Cordolcini caught up with Kompany and chatted to him about his City career, the club’s new signings and Belgium’s international prospects:

AC: Manchester City’s net expenditure on transfers after player sales has amounted to approximately £100M since the beginning of the year. Is second place simply not an option for the club?

VK: A lot of money has been invested and we’ve taken a further step towards reaching our big target. When will we win the Premier League? My answer is: someday. Maybe not this season, but surely very soon. It’s not easy to compete against the big traditional clubs and Manchester City can be considered as newcomers to English football’s elite. We can now show we are able to deal with the competition at the highest level. We face teams who normally paid no attention to City, but now they are ready to give 110% of their efforts in their attempt to beat us.

AC: As a team full of superstars, you could quite easily find yourselves in the firing line as soon as something starts to go wrong. How can you manage this kind of pressure?

VK: When you are in a team with a lot of top players like ours, it is quite obvious that expectations are high. The critics play a part in our game and to be honest, we don’t pay attention to what the media say and write. We are all grown-ups, we work hard to do our best and to make City’s aims become reality like every footballer would do in every team. No matter how Manchester City is portrayed by the tabloids, we go our own way.

AC: Doesn’t Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour put additional pressure on you? After all the money he has spent, he may run out of patience if the Citizens don’t lift a trophy pretty soon…

VK: Mansour is very aware about what happens within the club, but he is also a person who respects people and their work. No tips for the coach, no dressing room entries, no public criticism of the team’s players. From the way he acts I can tell he considers Manchester City his football club, not his toy.

AC: Do you think that the club’s start to the new season could be considered disappointing?

VK: No, why should it? Five matches, only one goal conceded, scored by Sunderland through a penalty in the 94th minute. 

AC: Let’s talk about the new additions at Eastlands. In your opinion, did Yaya Touré leave Barcelona only for financial reasons?

VK: I don’t know, I’ve never talked with him about that. Sometimes in your career you feel that you need a change and that you want to look for new experiences. All I can say is that Yaya is an amazing player, with great tactical knowledge and a strong personality on the pitch.

AC: David Silva also arrived from Spain …

VK: Since his first days he has tried to communicate with the group, to get involved, even though he doesn’t speak English. However, he is learning very fast. I remember another Spanish player who is with us, [Pablo] Zabaleta. When he arrived he only spoke Spanish, and now he is almost an English teacher.

AC: Did you know that he scored in Spain’s international against Liechtenstein in Vaduz?

VK: Who, Zabaleta? I can’t believe what you’re saying, that’s not possible…

AC: No, I meant Silva.

VK: Oh, now that’s okay, back to reality. (laughs)

AC: What do you think about Italy’s crazy football boy, Mario Balotelli?

VK: Mario is undoubtedly a good player. He has made a good impact here, having scored on his debut against Timisoara in the Europa League. But let me tell you that in England things are a little bit different than in Italy, or even in Belgium. Here the mentality is: we talk about it, but we don’t focus on it. What Balotelli does on the pitch is important – as long as he plays well. Everything else is just details that will soon be forgotten. It’s all about football.

AC: Manchester City also bought German international Jerome Boateng…

VK: Jerome has been unlucky as he got injured very soon. However, the move to City has been the best choice for him. He is a talented player and for him the future looks bright in the Premier League.

AC: What about Roberto Mancini?

VK: He speaks straight to the players and tactically he is a mastermind. He makes the players work hard during the training sessions, and since his first days he has clearly been demonstrating his idea of football: a good team needs to be built from the back. I like the sound of that. Under [Mark] Hughes I played more as a central midfielder, while Mancini has brought me back into the defence. In the Belgian national team, I always play centre half. However, I like both positions and wherever I play my objectives don’t change.

AC: Let’s move on to Belgian’s “Rode Duivels” (Red Devils). How painful was it to watch the World Cup in South Africa from your sofa back at home?

VK: It was a real shame, but you know, life goes on. We must always look ahead and for us that means the 2012 UEFA European Championship campaign – and then the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The idea of playing in the land of football will surely motivate us even more. We have a young but good team, a new coach, and everybody is hungry. That’s why I am positive about the future.

AC: What is missing in the Belgian team seeing as they are not performing at the highest level? You played well against Germany and then defender Daniel Van Buyten’s blunder led to Belgium’s defeat.

VK: You win as a team, you lose as a team. I don’t want to talk about the fault of a single player. We were all to blame for the defeat against Germany, not only Van Buyten. We are a group of young players. We must learn to have more confidence and need to gain more experience. As I said before, criticism is part of the game, it doesn’t worry me.

AC: Are Spain really the best team in the world?

VK: Absolutely. They are not only the best team of 2010, but the best of the last four, five or even six years. They deserved to win the World Cup. My favourite team during the competition was Ghana, because it was the first time an African nation hosted the tournament and I hoped that at least one of the African teams could do well in the tournament. Ghana did great.

AC: What can you tell me about the organisation SOS Children’s Villages which you are involved in?

VK: SOS Children’s Villages are the biggest charity organisation in Belgium, and I act as one of their ambassadors. Many organisations have contacted me before, but I’ve chosen them because they do exactly what I wanted to do. I am really involved in their projects, they are a well structured organisation that takes care of the most essential things in life. However, there is still a lot to be done to help people lead a better life in the long term.

AC: That’s admirable work Vincent and I wish you every success in it. Thanks for taking the time to speak to me today.