When you are an international superstar playing the most popular game in the world, you are bound to receive your fair share of accomplishments. For Vincent Kompany of Manchester City, those started to come at a young age.
Kompany, at the age of 18, was named the winner of the 2004 Belgian Golden Shoe — an award given to the best footballer of the Belgian First Division for the past year. That same year, he was named the Belgian Young Professional Footballer of the year — an award he would go on to win a second straight time in 2005. The awards would continue to pour out for the phenom, as he won several more includingManchester City Players’ Player of the Year in 2010-2011, Premier League Player of the Season for 2011-2012, the Alan Hardaker Trophy — given to the man of the match in the EFL Final — in 2016 and many more.
At this rate, the achievements may all run together and share a similar level of importance to Kompany. However, he recently earned something much more valuable than any trophy or award he has won in the past.
At the age of 20, Kompany lost his mother, Jocelyn, to a battle with cancer. From there on out, he learned not to take anything for granted — especially his health. As a tribute to his late mother, Kompany wanted to pursue something more meaningful than money, trophies and material matters.
Kompany went out and earned his Master’s in business administration at the Alliance Manchester Business School in England.
“When you’re playing [soccer] at the top levels, even managing your personal finances starts to become like running a business,” the Belgian defender told The Daily Mail.
“It felt like a fitting tribute to my mother to pursue my academic career by studying an MBA,” he said.
“To the young athlete, don’t bet everything on your health, take control of your life and keep educating yourself,” Kompany wrote on his Instagram page. “Learn and believe that smartening up is also a way to become a better, more complete athlete.”
I dedicate the achievement to our late mother. I thank the people that run the MBA at the Manchester Business School, thanks for inspiring and supporting us. To the young athlete, keep educating yourself. Keep learning and stay in control of your life.https://t.co/RsHT0EjJNX
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) December 29, 2017
“It was important to me that I understood what my accountant was talking about and that I could confidently assess a business plan to take ownership of this area of my life,” said Kompany. “I’m an entrepreneur at the core, so I have a natural interest in business. The MBA was about backing this up with academic learning and research.”
Allen Iverson, Antoine Walker, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Sheryl Swoopes are just a handful of names of professional athletes who have lost millions of dollars due to poor choices and mismanagement. Kompany has shown determination not to have his name end up in the same conversation.
In today’s society where so many former professional athletes lose it all, it is refreshing to see an athlete with not only the skills on the field, but life skills that will take him further than any gifts or talents could. Fans everywhere can be proud of their beloved footballer, but more than anyone, his mother Jocelyn is undoubtedly the most proud as she looks down on her son.