Thursday, 14 July 2011

Patrick Vieira: Football Developement Executive

Today saw the announcement of Patrick Vieira calling time on his playing career. However he is back in the new guise of Football Development Executive for Manchester City. At this moment in time it is not entirely confirmed to the public what this new position will entail, however we do know that Vieira will work with Head of City's Academy Andy Welsh as well as having continued involvement with the City in the Community Scheme (CitC).

Patrick spoke exclusively to as the news was announced saying: "I want to say that I'm really delighted because [City] gave me the opportunity to learn about the other side of the job. So I'm delighted to be part of the project ahead."

"It's a fantastic challenge for myself because I think it's really exciting because I want to learn..."

Many thought the obvious place for Vieira to go once he retired was back to Arsenal where he enjoyed a fantastic time, winning the Premier League 3 times, and also winning the FA Cup and Community Shield 4 times each. Patrick was part of Arsenal's legendary 'invinsibles' going a whole season and more without losing a game.

The 'obvious' choice was not where Patrick ended up though as he has grown fond of Manchester City and its fans since joining on a free transfer from Inter Milan in January 2010.

"I spent a year and a half in this football club, and it was a fantastic year and a half. I meat people who were delighted to make the club progress, who had a vision of football similar to mine. And what I love of all is the hard work that this football club is doing for the community."

Patrick was integral to CitC since joining, becoming a figurehead for the scheme and winning the CitC award for his contribution at the end of last season. He now sees his new position in the club as an ideal opportunity to "give back to society and give back to football what has been given to [him]."

It was no secret either that Vieira has had a big impact in the dressing room. And I'm not talking about anything to do with his nickname "the long sausage" here either. It was mentioned a number of times how the younger players look up to Vieira and want to learn from him.

Mario Balotelli said "I always listen to him... Patrick is one of the people I listen to most here in Manchester."

Mario isn't the only one to speak of Vieira's impact at City. Dedryck Boyata commented on him after Vieira scored at Sunderland: "To see him scoring, everyone jumped on him. There was no particular point, but everyone was happy. He is such an important figure. He is the veteran in the dressing room, the one you can ask questions and tells you what to do when you don’t know."

Reece Wabara also stated Vieira is "a legend and helps me a lot".

Talking more about his new role with City's Academy Vieira says: "I've been in the game for quite a long time, I've played in France, England and in Italy so I've got experience. I know how to get to the top and I just wanted to help them achieve that."

Vieira knows all about winning and even bowed out of playing by winning his 5th FA Cup winners medal to add to his long list of achievements which include a World Cup, European Cup, and Confederations Cup with France.

A future position in coaching hasn't been ruled out and Vieira plans to do his coaching badges whilst he is still at City.

You can catch the whole interview at

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