On 4 June 2015, Vincent Kompany, captain of the Manchester City football club, captain of the Red Devils, and International Ambassador of SOS Children’s Villages, received the “New European of the Year” award at the European Parliament. The Belgian footballer was recognised not only for his immense skill and spirit as a footballer but also his focus on helping children and society.
At the ceremony, European Parliament member (MEP) Philippe De Backer emphasised the traits that make Kompany so unique and inspiring, saying, “Kompany has a talent that goes beyond borders, not only for his football talent, but also for his spirit, his entrepreneurial talent, his social engagement and his role in charities. His character and perseverance make of him one of the best footballers in the world. He is an example to many Europeans.”
Vincent Kompany with a child from an SOS family in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: SOS Archives
Kompany has been an International Ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages since April 2014. Before this, he spent eight years as an ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages Belgium. It is clear that the work of our organisation is dear to his heart. Upon becoming an International Ambassador, he said, “I am honoured to be invited to be an International Ambassador for this amazing organisation that makes a real difference to each individual child in need wherever it operates. If my support can help improve the opportunities for children in South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, I pledge to do all I can every day.”
The “New European of the Year” award is organised by UNITEE, an organisation which represents European entrepreneurs and professionals who have a migrant background, known as “New Europeans”. The award celebrates the achievements and contributions of New Europeans.