Vincent Kompany has revealed that he once turned down the opportunity to join Manchester United, on the advice of his mother.
The Belgium international, who is now on the books of United's neighbours Manchester City, caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson during his days at Anderlecht.
Having burst onto the scene as a precociously talented teenager, Kompany was widely-coveted during his formative years.
United were just one of a number of clubs keen to secure his services, but the combative midfielder opted against a move to Old Trafford.
"The funny thing is I didn't sign for United or one of the other big clubs because I was still studying and my mother wanted me to finish school," Kompany told The People.
"So I respected her advice and did that first. I'm happy with the decisions I have made and there are no regrets.
"It was later that I started to look for different options."
Kompany believes his decision to remain in his homeland while he learnt his trade was justified when he suffered a long-term injury which could have seen his discarded by a bigger club.
"I could have signed for United or a lot of other clubs," he added.
"If I'd been in a bigger club and got injured like I was at a young age I might have just been forgotten about. I could easily have been cast aside.
"If I'd gone to United or Chelsea straight away I'd have been on the bench first, as would be the case with every young player. And then going from the bench to being injured for two years is not really an ideal situation.
"I would still have been at square one. But now, if you look at the progress I have made, then it is perfect because I know I can get to the top with City."
Kompany expects City to be busy in the transfer market this summer as they look to put the Abu Dhabi United Group's riches to good use, but he hopes a sense of restraint will be shown by boss Mark Hughes.
"We don't just want big names, we want players who come in and make the team better," he said.
"I trust the manager's judgement to bring the right people in.
"I will only be happy at City when we are winning the big prizes. When I retire from the game, I don't want to have any regrets about trophies I missed out on.
"I'm thinking long-term at City, where I have a good connection with the fans. If I'd been at a club with no ambition I wouldn't have stayed - it's not the case here.
"This is a club with big ambitions and those ambitions match my goals."