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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany speaks out about Brexit, racism and 'lunatic' Trump

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany speaks out about Brexit, racism and ‘lunatic’ Trump

Vincent Kompany says he fears for Europe’s future in the wake of Brexit.

The Manchester City captain says he is worried about the long term costs of the UK’s “selfish” action.

He said: “If the EU was to collapse as a result of this, we are going back into a very dangerous territory, especially when  you look at how the political landscape is changing in Europe.”

In an interview with The Guardian , he describes US President, Donald Trump as “a lunatic” and says Europe is at risk of the same politics.

“If you split up Europe and get a whole load of lunatics in isolation, who get elected based on hardline rhetoric, who is going to be the first guy to press the button because he’s pushed himself into a corner?”

Vincent insists however that he has no plans for a career in politics.

His father was elected last year as Belgium’s first black mayor in Brussels’ Ganshoren district.

Vincent Kompany with tears in his eyes following the victory over Leicester
(Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

His white Belgian mother, Jocelyne, who died from cancer in 2008, was a union leader who worked for Brussels’ government employment agency.

His dad, Pierre, who left the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1975 as a political refugee, drove a taxi at night to support the familyVincent has two siblings – while completing a degree in engineering.

Vincent was taught by his parents to challenge the discrimination they faced as mixed-race children.

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They spoke French at home and Dutch at school. Vincent said: “I owe everything to my parents. From the minute of being born, we expanded our horizons from our tiny apartment.”

Both he and his family were exposed to racsim.

“My dad wasn’t accepted in the family at the beginning. My mother comes from the most rural village you can imagine and when she arrived, in the 70s, with my dad, straight from Africa, it was a shock.

Vincent Kompany celebrates wining the Premier League
(Image: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

“It was ignorance. My dad always ended up being accepted because of his personality. It was normal for us to go to youth tournaments and be called monkeys; parents shouting it. That would nearly cause a fist fight with my mother. We were taught to be stronger.”

Vincent reveals that the discipline of football , and his commitment, saved him from taking the wrong path.

He joined Anderlect, aged six, and remained there until he was 20. “Football was, first of all, a way for my parents to get me off the streets. It was the most competitive environment you’ve ever known. I loved every bit of it, but if you talk about dealing with stuff at a young age, you want to see elite football. You’re not a child.”

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At 14 he was thrown out of school for being absent so often travelling with the Belgian national team. He got chucked out of the Belgium youth squad too – for clashing with the coach.

“I had an edge, a different way of dealing with things,” he says. “My parents always revolted against inequality or unfairness, so you can imagine that when my teacher would punish someone – or me – for something that wasn’t fair, I wouldn’t take it.”

In one year he had major surgery on his knee while a teenager, his parents divorced, and the family faced eviction from their social housing block.

Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League Trophy after Manchester City beat Brighton Hove Albion to win the Premier League
(Image: Man City via Getty Images)

“I’ve been sometimes very, very close to being on an extremely wrong path. If I had wanted to sell drugs, I could literally have gone downstairs and walked into some dark and shady operation.

“If I’d wanted to look good to impress girls, I could have hooked up with one of the gangs. These were all people I knew. I was playing football with these guys.”

“Setbacks, racism – everything was like feeding a fire. The biggest danger to me is complacency or inaction, which I never allow into my life. These are the defining moments – that age where you can throw everything away by being the worst version of yourself.”