Captain Vincent Kompany says he will leave Manchester City after Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Watford.
The 33-year-old defender won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups during 11 years at Etihad Stadium in which he scored 20 goals in 360 games.
By beating Watford 6-0 at Wembley, City became the first men’s side to complete the domestic treble in England.
In an open letter on Facebook, Kompany said it “doesn’t feel real”.
“Countless of times have I imagined this day,” he said. “After all, the end has felt nearby for so many years.
“Man City has given me everything. I’ve tried to give back as much as I possibly could.”
Belgium centre-back Kompany joined City from Hamburg as a defensive midfielder in 2008 and was named club captain three years later.
He scored his final goal against Leicester on 6 May, a brilliant strike from 25 yards that was voted as goal of the season on BBC Match of the Day and took City to within one win of the Premier League title, which they sealed on the final day of the season with victory at Brighton.
“The time has come for me to go now,” Kompany said.
“As overwhelming as it is, I feel nothing but gratefulness. I am grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey, at a very special club.
“I remember the first day, as clear as I see the last. I remember the boundless kindness I received from the people of Manchester.
“I will never forget how all Man City supporters remained loyal to me in good times and especially bad times. Against the odds, you have always backed me and inspired me to never give up.”
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “There have been many important contributors to Manchester City’s renaissance, but arguably none are more important than Vincent Kompany.
“He defines the essence of the club. For a decade he has been the lifeblood, the soul, and beating heart of a supremely talented squad.
“A booming voice in the dressing room yet a quiet and measured ambassador off it, Vincent can be as proud of himself as we are of him.”
Kompany – who last played for Belgium in November – said part two of his letter, in which he will discuss his future, will “follow shortly”.
After the 1-0 win over Leicester – City’s final home game of the season – he was in tears as the team enjoyed a lap of honour.
In September, the club will hold his testimonial match, from which he will donate all profits to Manchester’s homeless.
He added: “Sheikh Mansour changed my life and that of all the City fans around the world, for that I am forever grateful. A blue nation has arisen and challenged the established order of things, I find that awesome.
“I cherish the counsel and leadership of a good human being, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. Man City could not be in better hands.”
Al Mubarak said: “He will always be part of the City family.
“I am not sure he expected to lift the Premier League trophy on four occasions during his captaincy but he will be remembered and revered whenever this period of unprecedented City success is spoken about by future generations.
“His leadership, intelligence and determination have seen him adapt brilliantly to playing under four different managers and overcome some debilitating injuries.
“He is a special character who has answered every demand the club has made of him.”
Kompany bids farewell out in ‘great fashion’
Injuries have taken their toll on Kompany in recent years, and he featured in only 17 of City’s 38 league games this season because of muscle injuries.
However, he will be remembered for his influence and contribution on the pitch, where he led City to a first top-flight title since 1968 in 2011.
Along with Sergio Aguero and David Silva, Kompany is one of only three survivors from that triumph, and they repeated the achievement in 2014 and 2018.
City defended their title this month, finishing one point ahead of Liverpool after one of the most thrilling seasons in Premier League history.
“How often does someone get the chance to end such an important chapter, representing a club with such great history and tradition, in such a great fashion?” Kompany said.