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New York City Football Club announced on Monday morning that they have named Patrick Vieira their new head coach.
Vieira is one of the most accomplished European soccer players ever. He captained the French National team and was part of their World Cup championship team in 1998. He also won a UEFA European Championship with France in 2000.
In league competition, he played for Arsenal and Manchester City in England, and Inter Milan and Juvetus in Italy.
Vieira played for Arsenal from 1996 to 2005, and won three English Premier League titles and five FA Cup titles with them. He was a member of perhaps the greatest team ever, the 2003-04 Arsenal team that went undefeated and earned the title of the Invincibles.
He played for Juventus for one season, 2005-06 and they won the Serie A championship. He then moved on to Inter Milan, where he won three straight Serie A titles, in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He was let go from Inter in January 2010, just months before they won the Champions League.
In January 2010, he joined Manchester City, where he helped them win an FA Cup in 2010-11.
After he retired, he took over as head coach of the Elite Development Squad at Manchester City Football Club.
NYC FC has signed Vieira to a three-year contract, and he starts on January 1, 2016 in advance of pre-season for its second MLS campaign.
Vieira said in a statement released by the team, “I am delighted to take up the role of Head Coach of New York City FC. To work with this squad, with Claudio Reyna and Rob Vartughian and the fantastic support team that is in place, is an exciting prospect for any coach.
“This established football set up, together with a passionate and loyal fan base, located in a special city which I know well, makes for an unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands. I cannot wait to get started,” said Vieira.
NYC FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said, “Patrick was a legendary player and has all the characteristics required to make a fantastic Head Coach. His exemplary drive, passion and dedication have always marked him out as a rare talent and all of those qualities, alongside his understanding of the game, make him a natural choice.
“Patrick is a natural born leader. He has played under some of the best managers in the world and experienced different leagues and playing styles, enjoying success everywhere he has been. We believe he can bring that knowledge and experience to take New York City FC forward in MLS. We are looking forward to him joining us in the coming weeks,” said Reyna.
NYC FC President Tom Glick said, “The open position of head coach at New York City FC has prompted significant interest and I have no doubt that in Patrick, we have one of the most impressive young coaches I have encountered. Patrick’s ability, vision and the respect in which he is held by everyone who works with him, speaks volumes for his character and capacity to succeed. I am excited to work with him and I know the energy he will bring to the role will have a hugely positive impact across the Club.”
Vieira is the right choice, mainly for the fact that he played with and against NYC FC’s three designated players, fellow European stars Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, and David Villa. Vieira can certainly relate to them in a way that former head coach Jason Kreis could not and attract new international talent in the years to come.
Manchester City was very smart to bring Vieira in after he retired to coach the youth team. They are turning NYC FC into the next step for their young players to develop before joining the main club in the English Premier League. NYC FC showed that this past summer when they brought in Angelino, an 18-year old defender, to gain experience.
NYC FC wants to be known for its star power and a destination for international players. Appointing Vieira the head coach cements their status of being an international team.