Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards has told talkSPORT he is honoured to be making his return to the pitch in former team-mate Vincent Kompany’s testimonial.
A host of City legends are set to play at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night as part of the Belgian icon’s City send-off – which Kompany is ironically unable to play in due to injury.
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Premier League winner Richards announced his retirement from football in July but will pull on the blue shirt again as part of a Man City Legends XI, which also features former players James Milner, Mario Balotelli and Shaun Wright-Phillips and current stars Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
They will face a Premier League Legends XI side that is packed with former Manchester United players, including Phil and Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie – plus Arsenal legend Thierry Henry for good measure – which is sure to create a buzzing atmosphere for supporters.
Vincent Kompany testimonial: Man City Legends and Premier League Legends teams IN FULL
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Kompany left Manchester City after 11 trophy-laden years this summer to take over as player/coach at Anderlecht.
The hulking centre-back – club captain for eight years – made 265 appearances for City, winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups.
And Richards, who spent seven years alongside him in the City back-four, says the event will be a fitting send off for a ‘genuine legend’.
“The best word to describe him is inspirational,” Richards told talkSPORT host Jim White. “On and off the field, he’s a true leader.
“I think the word legend gets thrown around too easily nowadays, but he is a genuine legend and he’s one of the best centre-backs to grace the Premier League.
“And to have this event and all the money going to Tackle4MCR, a charity that helps homeless people, it’s shows the man he is by giving it to charity when a lot of players would have put their money in the pocket from the gate receipts.
“He’s an inspiration, to play alongside him for so many years was brilliant.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him, he really is an inspiration and he’s loved here by the City fans “