Sunday, November 14, 2010

Patrick Vieira

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Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira.jpg
Personal information
Full namePatrick Vieira
Date of birth23 June 1976 (age 34)
Place of birthDakar, Senegal
Height1.92 m (6 ft 3 12 in)[1]
Playing positionDefensive midfielder
Club information
Current clubManchester City
Youth career
1984–1986FC Trappes
1986–1991FC Drouais
Senior career*
2010–Manchester City14(2)
National team
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:02, 11 September 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:02, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Patrick Vieira (born 23 June 1976 in Dakar)[2] is a footballer who plays as a midfielder forPremier League club Manchester City.

He rose to prominence during his stint at Arsenal from 1996 to 2005, where he won threePremier League titles – one unbeaten – and four FA Cups, eventually becoming club captain. After leaving Arsenal in 2005, he spent one season at Juventus before joining Internazionale in 2006, following Juventus' relegation for their part in a match-fixing scandal. He has 107caps for France, and was part of their 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000-winning sides.

In August 2008, Vieira was ranked the fifth greatest Arsenal player of all-time in a fan poll conducted on the club's official website.[3]

On a less positive note, he also ranks among the players to have appeared in the English game with the worst disciplinary record, having been sent off 10 times during nine years at Arsenal.[4]

On 11 May 2010, Patrick Vieira was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).



[edit]Club career

[edit]Early career

Vieira's family moved from Senegal to Dreux when he was eight, and he did not return to Senegal until 2003.[5] Vieira first played for Cannes, where he made his debut at the age of 17 and captained the team aged only 19.[5] In summer 1995, he was signed by Italian giantsAC Milan, though he played mainly in the reserves and made only two first team appearances.[2]


In September 1996, the incoming Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger requested Vieira's purchase from Milan prior to taking up his position. Vieira was signed for £3.5 million, a figure which would be deemed a bargain in years to come.[6][7] His height, stamina and physical strength allowed him to settle into the English game quickly, while his composure and the quality of his passing cemented his position as an integral part of Wenger's stylish attacking side. Forming a powerful midfield partnership with French compatriot Emmanuel Petit, Vieira won thePremiership and FA Cup Double in 1998, his first full season at the club.[8] That summer, he was called up to France's 1998 World Cupsquad.

Vieira's early years at Arsenal were beset by disciplinary problems. In the 2000–01 season, he was sent off twice in two consecutive matches (the opening matches of the season), though after returning he did not receive another card for 28 matches. In all, he has been sent off twelve times in his career: nine times with Arsenal and once each with Juventus, France and Internazionale.

Vieira (center, on podium) holding the 2003–04 Premiership trophy after Arsenal's unbeaten season.

Vieira would go on to win Euro 2000 with France, as well as a second Double with Arsenal in 2002. He also played in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final. Arsenal lost the Final to Turkish sideGalatasaray on penalties, with Vieira missing his. After Tony Adams's retirement in 2002, Vieira (already vice-captain) became club captain, since which his disciplinary problems cooled significantly. Though he missed Arsenal's 2003 FA Cup Final win with injury and therefore did not qualify for a winner's medal, Vieira lifted the trophy jointly with captain for the day David Seaman.

In 2003–04 at Arsenal, he captained the side on an historic unbeaten season in the Premier League.[9] At the beginning of this campaign he was in and out of the side because of a hamstring injury, with Ray Parlour replacing him in the side. However, Vieira returned for the Champions League match against Lokomotiv Moscow, with the Gunners winning 2–0 and qualifying for the 1st Knockout round.

[edit]2004–05 season and Madrid speculation

In 2004, Arsenal accepted a bid reported to be worth £23 million from Real Madrid, but Vieira turned down Real's contract offer.[10] Following Real's unsuccessful approach, Vieira remained Arsenal's captain for the 2004–05 season, during which the club broke Nottingham Forest'srecord for the number of games unbeaten in the Premiership.[11] Vieira made a solid start to the season but wasn't in sparkling form. Arsenal had passed the record and were 49 games unbeaten and were 1st with 25 points from a possible 27. They were 49 and out when they lost toManchester United, Vieira's and Arsenal's form decreased with draws against relegation candidates Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Brom which saw them fall to 2nd.

Vieira scored his first goal of the season in a topsy-turvy North London derby which Arsenal won 5–4. Vieira scored his second goal of the season in vain as Arsenal lost to a weakened Liverpool. Chelsea were starting to sail away with the title and Arsenal were struggling to keep up with Chelsea despite a creditable 2–2 draw with the league leaders. Arsenal then suffered a 2–0 defeat at the hands of Bolton beforeManchester United completed the double over Arsenal with a 4–2 win at Highbury which Vieira scored the opening goal. Arsenal fell to 3rd but improved to take 2nd ahead of United. Arsenal also finished with impressive home wins against 5th place Liverpool and 4th place Everton with Vieira scoring against Everton in a massive 7–0 win.

Vieira scored in the 4th round of the FA Cup 2004-05 in a 2–0 win against Wolves. In the 2005 FA Cup Final he scored the winning penalty in a penalty shoot-out after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United.[12] Renewed speculation about Vieira's future emerged at the conclusion of the season, and the cup victory ultimately proved to be his final game for Arsenal.

[edit]Exit from Arsenal

On 14 July 2005, Arsenal accepted a bid of €20 million from Italian giants Juventus[13] and Vieira agreed a five-year contract with the Serie Aside the following day. One of the reasons for his transfer was also the emergence of teenager Cesc Fàbregas, who had played in place of Vieira when the latter was injured.

In total, Vieira played 407 times for Arsenal and scored 34 times.[2] In his time at Arsenal, Vieira appeared in the PFA team of the year six years in a row from the 1998–99 season up to the 2003–04 season.

He returned to Arsenal for one game on 22 July 2006 in a testimonial for Dennis Bergkamp as one of the Arsenal legends against Ajaxlegends. Despite his departure, Vieira has remained a favourite among Arsenal fans. An image of him sits alongside 14 other past and present Arsenal greats in "The Armoury", the club's shop at the Emirates Stadium.


After Vieira's move to Juventus, then-Juventus manager Fabio Capello used Vieira in a midfield consisting of Brazilian Emerson and CzechPavel Nedvěd. He helped Juventus to record their best ever start to a league season. Despite his performances dipping as the result of a persistent groin injury and a reported training ground bust-up with team mate Zlatan Ibrahimović, Vieira helped Juventus retain the Italian Championship (later stripped).

In a twist of fate, Vieira returned to Highbury on 28 March 2006 to play against Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Arsenal won 2–0 on aggregate, scoring twice in the first leg. Vieira received a yellow card in the first leg match at Highbury and was suspended for the return leg on 5 April 2006. During the first leg he was the subject of a strong tackle by former club and national team mateRobert Pirès. Vieira was left crestfallen as Pires regained possession and Arsenal attacked, scoring the first goal of the tie through Cesc Fàbregas. Pirès humorously quipped that it was the first time in 13 years he had got the better of Vieira physically.[14]

Vieira playing with Inter


Juventus were stripped of their 2004–05 and 2005–06 titles after it was revealed they were involved in a match-fixing scandal.[15] Juventus were relegated to Serie B and deducted 17 points by theItalian Football Federation for their involvement,[15] prompting many of the club's major stars to move elsewhere. After press speculation linking him to various clubs, including Arsenal andManchester United, on 2 August 2006 Vieira officially signed a 4 year-deal for Internazionale in a deal to be worth €9.5m,[16] less than half the €20m fee Juventus had paid just 12 months prior.[17]Vieira declared he wanted to continue to play at the highest level at the presentation conference, which is his reason to leave Juve.[18]

In his first season at Inter, he added to his trophy cabinet the Italian Super Cup (scoring a brace in that game) as well as the 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09 Serie A titles. But due to injury, he failed to become one of the regular starter, Olivier Dacourt, initially a backup player, became Mancini's first choice. And since the club signed Sulley Muntari and Thiago Motta, Vieira became of lesser and lesser importance in the team.

In response to extensive media speculation regarding a possible return by Vieira to his former club in 2009, Arsenal manager Arsène Wengeradmitted that he would contemplate re-signing Vieira.[19] However the move never happened and Vieira remained at Inter. On 6 January Vieira unusually played as starter against Chievo, which was his 8th league start of the season.[20] Before the match Inter had lost Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari due to injury, Dejan Stanković and Thiago Motta suspended.[21] José Mourinho stated that Vieira had played his last game at Inter after the match.[22]

[edit]Manchester City

On 8 January 2010 it was confirmed that Vieira was having a medical at Manchester City and he would sign a six-month deal, where he would link up with former Arsenal colleagues Kolo Touré and Sylvinho. The contract also includes an option for a 12-month extension.[23]Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini described Vieira as an excellent midfielder with a winner's mentality and that he would fit into Manchester City's squad very well.[24] He made his debut for Manchester City in the 2–1 defeat to Hull City. Three days later he made his first start for City against Bolton where he assisted Emmanuel Adebayor through a long ball in the 2–0 victory. He scored his first goal for the club against Burnley in their 6–1 win on 3 April 2010.[25] On 9 June 2010, Vieira agreed to a one-year extension to his contract, which will keep him at Eastlands until the summer of 2011. On 11 September 2010, he started his first game in his second season for the club and went on to score the equalizing goal against Blackburn before being substituted in the 65th minute.

[edit]International career

Vieira chose to make his debut for France in 1997 against the Netherlands. He was part of the France squad in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He came on as a substitute in the final against Brazil, and set up Emmanuel Petit for France's third goal in a 3–0 win.[26] He, with the rest of the squad, received Knight of Légion d'honneur, France's highest decoration, in 1998.[27][28]

He subsequently played as a first choice midfield player in France's successful campaign in Euro 2000, which they won, beating Italy in the final.[29] He helped France to victory in the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, ending the tournament as joint top scorer with two goals, including the winner in the final against Japan. He also played in all three games in the FIFA World Cup 2002, in which France were eliminated in the group stage, failing to score a goal. He was injured and missed France's defeat to Greece at Euro 2004.

Vieira was appointed France's national team captain on Zinédine Zidane's retirement from international football. Nonetheless, he and veteran defender Lilian Thuram were instrumental in convincing Zidane to end his retirement and help the flagging campaign to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Vieira even handed back the captaincy of the team to Zidane.

On June 23, 2006, his 30th birthday, Vieira took the captain's armband for the match in place of the suspended playmaker Zidane, whom he shared the birthday with, scoring the first goal when France beat Togo 2–0 in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup 2006; Vieira set upThierry Henry for France's second. This win helped France advance to the knockout stages, coming second behind Switzerland, and it prolonged Zidane's international career. In the round of sixteen, Vieira scored the second goal in France's 3–1 defeat of Spain; France went on to beat favourites Brazil 1–0 in the quarter-finals, and Portugal by the same score in the semi-finals, which gave them a place in the final against Italy. Vieira was one of the best midfielders at the tournament with a string of fine performances. Vieira started the final, but was substituted due to injury in the second half, likely sustained when he collided with Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro. Italy won 5–3 on penalties after the game finished 1–1 after extra time. As of November 23, 2006 Vieira has appeared 100 times for France, scoring 6 goals.

On August 5, 2006 Vieira was reappointed captain of the French national team for the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.[30] However, he played no part in the group games at Euro 2008 for a struggling France due to a niggling knee injury.[31] His last cap with the national team was on June 2, 2009 in a friendly match against Nigeria. He was not included by coach Raymond Domenech in France's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,[32] and after France's failed campaign effectively announced his international retirement by declaring that he would not make himself available to play under former team-mate and new French Manager Laurent Blanc. On 7 July 2010, Vieira confirmed again that he was no longer interested in playing for France and will devote his time to Manchester City.[33]

[edit]Career statistics

Club PerformanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
FranceLeagueCoupe de FranceCoupe de la LigueEuropeTotal
1993/94CannesDivision 150-50
ItalyLeagueCoppa ItaliaLeague CupEuropeTotal
1995/96AC MilanSerie A2010-2050
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
1996/97ArsenalPremier League31210322
ItalyLeagueCoppa ItaliaLeague CupEuropeTotal
2005/06JuventusSerie A31570-30415
2006/07Inter MilanSerie A20130-41272
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
2009/10Manchester CityPremier League1311000-141

[34] [35]

France national team