Patrick Vieira announces retirement to take Manchester City coaching role

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The Independent Football

Former World Cup winner Patrick Vieira has announced his retirement from professional football and will take up a newly-created role off the pitch with Manchester City.

The 35-year-old Frenchman, who was released by City at the end of last season, has accepted the position of football development executive and will help in the development of young players among other responsibilities.

Vieira said: "This role is a fantastic new challenge for me and I am very grateful to Manchester City for offering me this opportunity.

"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 and I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to the club's ongoing success."

Vieira was City boss Roberto Mancini's first signing when he left Inter Milan to return to the Barclays Premier League in January 2010.

He was not a regular starter but made 47 appearances in total, scoring six goals, with his final run-out in a City shirt coming as a late substitute in the FA Cup final victory over Stoke in May.

As well as working in the youth set-up, Vieira will also help to deliver the club's social responsibility programme and get involved on the commercial side.

The Frenchman added: "I am particularly pleased to be given the opportunity to work with the club's community scheme.

"Manchester City has a great reputation for its commitment to its community and charity partners and I believe I can help to take that message to an even greater audience.

"Everyone at Manchester City - the fans, the staff and the players - have made me and my family feel very welcome here over the past two years and I am very happy to have been given the chance to stay and develop my career away from the pitch."

Vieira rose to prominence when he joined Arsenal from AC Milan in 1996 and he went on to enjoy great success in nine seasons with the Gunners.

The combative midfielder won three Premier League titles and was part of the 'Invincibles' team that did not lose a match in the 2003-04 season.

He became club captain following Tony Adam's retirement in 2002 and also won four FA Cups, including the penalty shoot-out triumph over Manchester United in 2005 that remains Arsenal's last trophy.

Vieira was, however, a controversial figure who collected cards to go with his medals and he was sent off 10 times in Arsenal colours.

He left the Gunners to join Juventus and won the Serie A title in 2006, although the Turin side were then stripped of the trophy amid the Serie A match-fixing scandal and the Frenchman moved on again to Inter Milan.

In a hugely successful spell, Inter won the league for four successive years but Vieira found himself increasingly troubled by injuries and departed for Manchester before the Italians' Champions League triumph in 2010.

On the international stage, the Frenchman was a key part of the team that won the European Championships in 2000 and also made a substitute appearance in France's World Cup final triumph over Brazil two years earlier.

Vieira will report to City's chief football operations officer Brian Marwood, who described him as the "ultimate professional".

Marwood said: "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.

"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.

"Wherever he goes he commands the respect of his audience and we believe he will make an invaluable contribution to our club as we build on our recent successes."