Patrick Vieira did not play a part in France's elimination from Euro 2008 but the former Arsenal captain was alleged to be involved in a tunnel row with one of his oldest adversaries, the Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. The two men are understood to have traded insults after France's 4-1 defeat to the Dutch in Berne last Friday after Van Nistelrooy purposely waited for Vieira after the game.
The fall-out from France's woeful showing at Euro 2008 will claim the job of coach Raymond Domenech next month, however, for now the country is consumed with video footage of Vieira in the tunnel after the Netherlands game. It has been claimed that the pictures show Vieira being pulled away from an argument with Patrice Evra, the Manchester United left-back. That has been denied and it is the moments after that which are alleged to be the spiciest. Van Nistelrooy was said to be waiting for Vieira with whom he has had a turbulent relationship from his time at United. In his autobiography published in 2005, Vieira, who was included in the France squad despite a thigh injury, called the Dutch striker "a cheat and a coward", "deceitful" and "a nasty piece of work". While there is no suggestion that the two men came to blows this time, there had been trouble moments earlier when Vieira said he was spat at by a Dutch fan.
Quote of the day
"We will be without two great champions, but there are another two that can do their work."
Daniel De Rossi believes Italy can cope with the suspensions of Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso for Sunday's quarter-final meeting with Spain in Vienna