Vincent Kompany rejected a heavily-incentivised contract extension with Manchester City to complete his surprise player-manager appointment at Anderlecht.
The decision came the day after the Belgian lifted the FA Cup trophy following his side's dominant 6-0 victory over Watford at Wembley, completing a historic treble for Pep Guardiola's side.
The centre back's future had been subject to speculation all season as he ran down the final year of his contract, but he has now been announced in first managerial role.
City boss Pep Guardiola had said on several occasions that he would like to keep his captain at the club, but The Times report Kompany turned down the opportunity to stay in Manchester, opting instead to sign a three-year deal as player-manager of the Belgian Pro League team.
Speaking on the decision, the 33 year-old said: "It’s the most passionate yet rational decision I have ever made. As a footballer, I was born and raised at RSC Anderlecht. Since the age of six, I have been one with that club."
The Belgium international has won ten major trophies during his 11-year spell at the Etihad following his £6m move from Hamburg in 2008.
However, due to injury problems suffered in recent seasons, City were only prepared to offer the stalwart a one-year deal, leading Kompany to take up the three year contract in Belgium.
Guardiola is aware of the task he has in trying to replace the Belgian - not just with his performances on the pitch, but with his leadership off it too.
The City boss said: "It will be so difficult to replace Vinnie. He is special. For all the times he gave a speech to the guys or spoke with passion about something he believed in, his leaving will be a big loss."