Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has voiced his anger with Vincent Kompany and Belgium after his captain played in a World Cup qualifier this week.
Kompany made his first appearance in eight weeks as Belgium beat Macedonia in Brussels on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old had been out of action since limping out of City’s FA Cup fourth-round win on January 26 and had a potential comeback date put back several times.
Each time City deemed him close to fitness they opted not to risk him for fear of further damage and Mancini was frustrated that Belgium boss Marc Wilmots called him up.
Kompany did not feature in last Friday’s game in Macedonia but lasted the full 90 minutes of this week’s return fixture and Mancini is disappointed the player did not pull out.
Mancini said: “I think sometimes the player should understand the club is more important.
“I don’t say the national team is not important, I never say to my players ‘Don’t go to the national team’ — but there are some cases that the club is more important. All the players should understand this.”
Mancini had tried to persuade Kompany to stay in Manchester to work on his recovery but Belgium, in a tight battle with Croatia for a place at Brazil 2014, exercised their right to summon him.
Mancini said: “I talked with Vinny but I can’t put him in jail for two weeks.
“I said, ‘Stay here, do your treatment here. Don’t go to play because you take a risk. For us these two months are really important’.
“He said the manager had called him and he should go. It is correct he can go there to do a medical but after he should come back.
“It was important Vinny works here and prepares very well for the next game and the next two months of the year. He didn’t play for us for 60 days.”
Mancini also hit out at Wilmots for calling up Kompany, accusing the Belgium boss of failing to understand City’s point of view.
The Italian said: “I did not agree with this. I think sometimes some managers of national teams should understand the situation.
“This player plays for the club and the club, every month, pay his salary.
“The responsibility is also with the player, and the player should understand this, but the manager probably, sometimes, doesn’t understand the real situation.
“I don’t want him not to go to the national team but when he is injured it is impossible, it is not correct.
“For 60 days he didn’t play for us and we did everything, then he went to play for the national team.
“If he had got another injury — if on Saturday he is not ready to play because he was with the national team, and we lose him for another month, this is not correct.”
Mancini is hoping Kompany will be fit to face Newcastle in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow but needs to check on his fitness.
He said: “I don’t know if he is okay or not. One week before the international break he was not fit to play for us. I didn’t see Vinny yesterday. I will see him today.”
Meanwhile, Mancini has conceded defeat to Manchester United in the title race. The champions trail their rivals by 15 points with just nine games remaining.
He said: “Yes, it is over — but this doesn’t change anything. We should do our best from now until the end.”
Mancini also dismissed fresh speculation over his future at Eastlands after one of his coaches, Angelo Gregucci, was quoted in Italy suggesting the manager’s position beyond the summer was uncertain.
Mancini is not sure that has been interpreted correctly. He said: “He works with us but, no, it is not true. It is impossible that he said it.”
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