Patrick Vieira has decided to hang up his boots and retire from professional football; the tough tackling midfielder who was released by Manchester City at the end of the season will make a quick return to the club however after agreeing to become the club’s football development executive
The newly-created position will see the vastly experienced World cup winner nurture young players at City as well as including responsibilities. The 35 year old will report to Brian Marwood in his new role.
Speaking about his new role Vieria told City’s official website: “It was something I was preparing for in my head and I think it was the right time.
“It’s a sad day and a sad moment but overall I’ve enjoyed the years I’ve spent in football. Football has brought me a lot.
“I think it will be difficult to find a job that will give me as much satisfaction as football has given me but I just want to give back to society and give back to football what it has given to me. And what a fantastic club for me to do it.”
As well as working in the youth set-up, Vieira will also help to deliver the club’s social responsibility programme and get involved on the commercial side.
In a career that lasted 18 years and took in France, Italy, England, Italy and once again England Vieira won almost everything the game had to offer.
Born in Senegal, Vieria moved to France as an 8 year old, beginning his football career with Cannes in 1993, his early promise was noted by AC Milan who took the midfielder to Italy at the age of 19.
The player failed to settle in Italy and after one season in Italy made the move to Arsenal. Despite arriving as an unknown, it was under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, who labelled him a “special player” on hearing of his retirement that Vieira would go and become a household name.
Vieira spent almost 10 years in London winning 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA cups and was a key part of the ‘Invincibles’ team that won the Premier League title in 2003-04 without losing a match.
Vieira then made a return to Italy in 2005 signing a five year deal with Juventus in a deal worth 20 million euro and added to his medal title with the 2006 Seria A title, although it was later stripped from the club.
That match fixing scandal saw Juventus relegated and after just 12 months in Italy it seemed that his Italian dream was over again with a return to Arsenal once again on the cards. That move didn’t materialise and instead Vieira signed for Inter Milan, helping them to 4 Seria A titles, 2 Italian cups and that elusive Champions league winner’s medal in a four year spell that while successful in terms of trophies was blighted by injury and a supporting role.
In January 2010 Vieira returned to England as Roberto Mancini’s first signing for Manchester City, signing a 6 month deal with the option of another 1 months. Despite not being a regular starter he managed made 47 appearances in total, scoring six goals, with his final run-out in a City shirt coming as a late substitute in the FA Cup final victory over Stoke in May, his fourth FA cup winner’s medal.
At International level, despite being born in Senegal Vieira opted to declare for France and was a key part of the team that won the European Championships in 2000 and also made a substitute appearance in France’s World Cup final triumph over Brazil two years earlier. In a 12 year International career Vieira won 107 caps and scored 6 goals, his last appearance for in a Blue shirt came in the 2010 FIFA World cup in South Africa
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