Vincent Kompany revealed himself to be a big Virgil van Dijk fan after the Manchester City legend labeled the Liverpool centre-back as the best defender in the Premier League at a press event before his testimonial.

The former Manchester City captain had been due to feature in the star-studded charity match at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

But, much in keeping with the latter half of Kompany’s City career, the defender has been curtailed by a muscular issue.

Kompany said: “Unfortunately I can’t start or even play. It’s typical of me! I have a slight hamstring injury and can’t risk it.

“But there are plenty of awesome players to be watching and it is about a celebration. To say goodbye, it doesn’t have to be on the pitch. We are doing it for an unbelievable cause.

“And I will be there for David Silva testimonial!”

Kompany, 33, joined City in 2008 and left after winning his fourth Premier League title with the club at the end of last season.

Although frustrated at not being able to play in the match between a City XI and a Premier League All-Stars team, Kompany pointed out that the top priority was to raise money for his homelessness charity Tackle4MCR.

For that he is pleased that so many former Manchester United players, old rivals, have agreed to take part.

He said: “We are specifically dealing with homelessness in Greater Manchester. You can’t have a successful project without Manchester United involved. We have our differences – that is clear – but if we can get together for these sort of events the city is stronger.”

At the press conference to preview the match, Kompany was also asked who he felt was the best defender ever to have played in the Premier League. His surprise answer was Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk.

Kompany said: “I go back to players that really impressed me when I played against them, central defenders, I would bring it back to Virgil Van Dijk.

“Being a defender is how you make your team more solid. The Liverpool before Van Dijk and after – it is a completely different set-up.”

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