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Guardiola disciple Kompany joins elite as Bayern boss

Vincent Kompany has made the giant move from relegated <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/burnley/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Burnley;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Burnley</a> to coach <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/bayern-munich/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Bayern Munich;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Bayern Munich</a> (Glyn KIRK)

Vincent Kompany was named Bayern Munich head coach on Wednesday, capping a rapid rise in the Belgian's embryonic coaching career despite mixed results.

Kompany, still just 38, lacks the experience of previous Bayern coaches and was a surprise choice with his Burnley side relegated from the Premier League this season.

But he has long been earmarked for top jobs with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola saying it is his "destiny" to one day succeed him at the Etihad.

The former City captain spent three years under Guardiola at Man City as a player, winning two of Kompany's four Premier League titles together.

Guardiola also knows the pressures that come with being Bayern boss from his three-year spell in the Bundesliga between 2013 and 2016.

After attempts to lure Xabi Alonso and Julian Nagelsmann back to the Allianz Arena from Bayer Leverkusen and the German national team failed, Bayern reportedly sought Guardiola's advice before going for Kompany.

"I'm happy the link has happened for Bayern to Vinny," Guardiola said.

"I have a huge opinion about Vinny, (it) doesn't matter the relegation with Burnley. What I felt playing against him and knowing him, I have the highest opinion of his work, personality, his knowledge of the game, how he handles the media."

Kompany began his coaching career back at his first club Anderlecht, leading them to third-place regular season finishes in both of his full seasons in charge.

He departed his homeland to return to England in 2022 and enjoyed a dream start at Turf Moor with Burnley promoted from England's second tier as Championship winners with 101 points in his first season.

The Clarets' joy was short-lived, however, as they were relegated from the top flight with just five wins and 24 points -- the club's lowest top-flight tally in their history.

Kompany faces a marked shift in expectation when he swaps Turf Moor for Munich.

But Bayern are hoping to replicate the rapid rise of another former Guardiola protege, Alonso, who led Leverkusen to their first ever Bundesliga title in his first full season as a senior coach.

- Breaking a 44-year drought -

Aged just six, Kompany joined Anderlecht and came through the youth ranks, breaking into the first team in 2003 aged 17.

He left to join Bundesliga side Hamburg in 2006 but his stint at the former European champions would prove crucial to his Bayern appointment.

Kompany, a native French and Flemish speaker, learned German during his time in Hamburg -- a crucial criteria for Bayern, who have been historically reluctant to sign coaches not proficient in the local tongue.

After two seasons in northern Germany he made the move that would define his career, joining City just before the club was taken over by a consortium from Abu Dhabi, which transformed them into the dominant force in English football.

Named skipper in 2011-12, he then captained City to their first English league title in 44 years.

The defender departed the Etihad in 2019 but has an enduring presence outside the stadium, with a statue built in his honour in 2021.

With 89 caps for Belgium, Kompany's leadership also shone at a national level, where he captained the side from 2010 until stepping down from international duty in 2019.

- 'Want to become a coach' -

Kompany's qualities always seemed well-matched for a coaching career, but it was his time learning under Guardiola that crystallised that ambition.

"With Pep in the first friendly, I just knew I wanted to become a coach one day," Kompany told Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung in 2023.

"He influenced me a lot because he was the one who broke the game down so that I could fully understand it.

"With his absolute clarity, he was the trigger for me to explain football in my own way."

Kompany's ideology has been formed by Guardiola's possession-based style.

He attracted criticism this season for not adapting as Burnley struggled with the step up to the Premier League.

But Bayern -- whose resources dwarf the rest of the Bundesliga -- will be hoping Kompany can replicate the dominance shown in his one Championship season.

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