Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany suggested he would be willing to repeat his part in the club versus country row that brought him into conflict with manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Kompany played 57 minutes as Belgium rounded off their triumphant Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 3-1 win over Israel earlier this month, despite Pellegrini stating he should not feature due to missing City’s previous five matches with a calf strain.
The 29-year-old started his club’s subsequent matches against Bournemouth and Sevilla among the substitutes but he was restored to the heart of Pellegrini’s defence for Sunday’s 0-0 draw against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford – a result that returned City to the top of the Premier League on goal difference ahead of Arsenal.
Throughout the past two weeks, Pellegrini has insisted there is no problem between himself and Kompany – a stance the player agreed with but he refused to show any regret for turning out in what was in effect a dead rubber for his country.
“It’s not just with me,” he told reporters, in reference to conflicts between players, clubs and national teams.”For now, the past, and the future, it’s always going to be a little bit of a tricky situation.
“They are two very important teams that have different goals and ambitions and it’s just normal that stuff like this happens.
“I would not have played if I was not fit. But I’m a professional and I don’t need too much explanation [from the manager].
“I just deal with it. I dealt with my decision and I didn’t have a problem with it. It’s fine.
“I work hard, always. I’m always positive for the team. It’s not at [the age of] 29 that I need too much explanation any more.”
Kompany partnered Eliaquim Mangala at centre-back for City’s first five Premier League games of the season and he took to the field alongside Nicolas Otamendi for the first time at Old Trafford.
Pellegrini’s team are yet to concede a league goal with their captain on the field this term, with the player himself accepting competition for places but confident in his ability to find a way on to the teamsheet.
“Every single time I’ve had the chance to put my boots on this term I’ve done very well, with my national team and club,” he said.
“For me, I’m a team player. We all want to achieve the same thing in the end. If other players do well I’m by definition also satisfied.
“It’s always been the case at City. There’s been as many defenders for that position since I’ve been there.
“It’s not just one season when there’s been big signings and big players come in. It’s necessary. Sometimes you get the best out of a team with that competition but that’s true for every position, not just my position.”