Vincent Kompany has targeted silverware in his first season with Anderlecht, but acknowledged he has “everything to prove” as he embarks on his first coaching job.
The centre-back left Manchester City at the end of last season following a trophy-laden 11-year spell to take up a player-manager position with the Belgian club.
And Kompany, who won the Premier League on four occasions with City, is out to make a big impact on his return to boyhood club Anderlecht.
“The idea of becoming a player-manager has grown gradually,” he said at his presentation on Tuesday. “The chance was too big for me not to go in and I think this was the right time to make this decision.
“Returning only as a player was not an option, but as a player-manager.
“I have everything to prove. As a manager, I have not yet proved anything, but I am confident that this story can and will succeed.
“I want to be a champion with Anderlecht. Let that be clear – I didn’t come here to be second. I can’t and won’t say that.
“I can start something incredible here. People who know me a little know well enough that I would not start omething like this without a plan.”
Anderlecht finished sixth in the Belgian First Division last season, but Kompany is confident of bridging the gap, while at the same time promoting some younger players.
“There are huge talents around here and I am looking forward to working with them,” said the 33-year-old, who started his career with the Brussels-based club before joining Hamburg in 2006.
“There are more talents at Anderlecht today than when I started. Much more. We finished sixth last year, so we have to get better than five other teams in one season. But my opinion is that with a few changes we can get there. I’m convinced of that.
“If Anderlecht had become champions last year, or even second, then this story would not have happened. Or months of negotiation would have preceded. There is no better time to jump in than now. No one would have been open to a change in mentality.
“I understand that there is a lot of work, but I am really looking forward to starting. I have learned a lot in recent years and I now have the opportunity to make my mark here. I am proud that I have that opportunity.”
Kompany also revealed he informed City boss Pep Guardiola of his decision to leave on the eve of their 6-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup final.
City legend Kompany picked up plenty of tips from Guardiola during their three years working together, but he is not interested in succeeding the Catalan in the Etihad Stadium dugout – instead tipping current assistant Mikel Arteta for the top job when it becomes available.
“I believe I told Guardiola the day before the FA Cup final that it would be my last game at City,” he said. “I wanted to thank him for everything he taught me. The farewell was emotional.
“Working with Guardiola was as if I was suddenly in college. He explains everything in such a clear way and I learned a lot from him. I am not yet a Guardiola, let that be clear. But I think I am a good student.
“Let City be City under Pep, which is an awesome club. I think they will win the Champions League eventually, soon hopefully, and behind Pep there is Mikel Arteta who has a lot of knowledge, who is probably the right man to look at.
“I will just build my career and be as driven as Pep has been or the best managers have been that I know. Will I be as good? We’ll see.”