Premier League - Vieira confirms retirement

Thu, 14 Jul 13:01:00 2011

French World Cup winner Patrick Vieira has retired from professional football to take up a backroom role at Manchester City.

Premier League - Vieira retires

The playing contract of Vieira, 35, had expired.

A statement on the club's website read: "Manchester City is delighted to announce that Patrick Vieira has accepted the newly created position of football development executive with the club.

"The World Cup winner will have a wide ranging role, helping to deliver the club's social responsibility programme, both in the UK and abroad, as well as working closely with City's commercial partners.

"He will also take an active role in the development of youngsters at the Platt Lane complex, providing mentoring support as part of the academy's Multiskills Programme, which seeks to provide a well-rounded lifestyle education for the club's junior players."

Vieira joins former Arsenal team-mate David Platt, Attilio Lombardo and Brian Kidd in working under Mancini. He will report to the club's chief football operations officer Brian Marwood.

Marwood said: "Patrick is the ultimate professional and it is our very great privilege to introduce him as our new football development executive. His experience in the world of football is virtually unparalleled and he will be a huge asset to our club as old and young alike benefit from his knowledge.

Vieira signed for City in January 2010 and though he made only 24 starts for the club, the experienced figure was an important influence in the dressing room as City won the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League last season.

His announcement brings an end to a career that saw Vieira become one of the most formidable midfielders in world football.

Vieira emerged from the Cannes youth system and was named captain at the age of just 19 before signing for Italian giants AC Milan in January 1996.

A restriction on the number of foreigners in Serie A sides prevented him from making an impact at the San Siro though and he moved to Arsenal in August 1996 on the instructions of incoming manager Arsene Wenger.

It was at Highbury that he flourished, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups before departing for Juventus in 2005.

His one season with the Bianconceri saw the France international win Serie A, though the trophy was later stripped from the club due to the Calciopoli trial.

Vieira then joined Mancini at Inter and won four successive Serie A titles with the Nerazzurri before returning to England.

He won 107 international caps for France and won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships of 2000.

Wenger said: "You can only have lot of respect for what Patrick has achieved. His career is sensational. He was an exceptional player for us.

"We have classy players in midfield now but Patrick was special. He was a tall player with good technique.

"You do not compare [old players with new players]. We have exceptional players in midfield with their own character. But at Arsenal we will be forever grateful for Patrick’s contribution."

Have a favourite Patrick Vieira moment? Leave your comments below.


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