Champions League: Manuel Pellegrini risks Belgium ire with desire to play Vincent Kompany

Kompany, who has struggled with a persistent calf problem this season, has not played since injuring his knee against Dynamo Kiev on March 15.

Reuters| Updated: Apr 08, 2016, 14:40 PM IST
Champions League: Manuel Pellegrini risks Belgium ire with desire to play Vincent Kompany

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini`s plans to play captain Vincent Kompany in Tuesday`s Champions League quarter-final, second-leg against Paris St Germain could rekindle his feud with Belgium manager Marc Wilmots over the defender.

Kompany, who has struggled with a persistent calf problem this season, has not played since injuring his knee against Dynamo Kiev on March 15, and Wilmots is concerned another injury could rule the Belgium captain out of the Euro 2016 finals.

With the tie evenly poised after City came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes in the first leg and a place in the semi-finals at stake, Pellegrini said Kompany had an outside chance of playing in the home leg.

"We`ll see him during the week and what he improves," the Chilean told reporters. "The last few days, he`s worked very well. We must test him with more intensity and it`s very difficult to tell now."

Pellegrini`s stance is at odds with his Belgium counterpart, who had insisted earlier that the 29-year-old would not risk his fitness by playing again this season with the June-July tournament in France a long-term goal.

"Vincent Kompany suffered a calf tear, which means he will need five to eight weeks to return. I spoke to him on the phone. He has huge desire. We`ll see him on 16 May," Wilmots had said.

This is not the first time the influential central defender has been caught in a club vs country dispute.

In October, Kompany was named in Belgium`s squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Andorra and Israel, despite him having been out since September after picking up an injury against Juventus, and Pellegrini saying he could not play.

In 2013, Pellegrini`s predecessor Roberto Mancini criticised Wilmots for playing Kompany against Macedonia after he returned from a two-month injury absence.