Manchester (England): World Cup-winning
midfielder Patrick Vieira retired on Friday to take up a role as
football development executive with Manchester City, where he
will help guide and mentor young players.
With Vieira also having won the European Championship,
three Premier League titles and four Serie A championships,
City wants the 35-year-old former France international to help
develop top-class players.
City currently relies upon its financial muscle in the
transfer market to bolster its squad but must trim its
largesse to conform with UEFA`s financial fair play rules.
"I have a lot to learn about the non-playing areas of the
business but there are many very experienced people here for
me to learn from," Vieira said. "I am confident that I can
make a significant contribution to the club`s ongoing
The former AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus and Inter Milan
player was City coach Roberto Mancini`s first signing when he
Vieira joined in January 2010 and helped the club win
last season`s FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League for
the first time.
"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," City chief
football operations officer Brian Marwood said. "His
contribution to world football during his time as a player was
extraordinary and he will be remembered as one of the greatest
players to grace the Premier League.
"Whilst it is sad to see Patrick`s playing career come to
an end, we are delighted that he has chosen to extend his time
with Manchester City in this new capacity."
The Senegal-born Vieira, who won the World Cup in 1998
with France and the European Championship two years later,
started his career with Milan before a nine-year stint with
Arsenal, where he was consistently first choice in central
He spent five years in Italy from 2005 before playing out
his career at City under former Inter coach Mancini.
"You can only have lot of respect for what Patrick has
achieved," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "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.
"At Arsenal we will be forever grateful for Patrick`s