The Frenchman has left his role as head coach of New York City FC, having spent nearly three seasons at the club, to replace Lucien Favre at the Allianz Riviera.
The 41-year-old Frenchman had been linked with replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal following his countryman’s departure, but he now returns to his homeland to take charge of a Nice side that finished eighth last season, missing out on a Europa League place by one point.
Assistant coach Christian Lattanzio, performance coach Kristian Wilson and physical performance coach Matt Cook have also left New York to join Vieira at Nice.
“After two and a half years as head coach of NYCFC, today will be my last day,” Vieira wrote on Twitter.
“I can honestly say that my time with the club has been absolutely perfect – both on the professional and personal level.”
He added: “Leaving New York is an incredibly difficult decision for me and my family and one that has not been taken lightly.”
Announcing Vieira’s departure on their official website, New York City were quick to thank the former World Cup winner for his endeavours.
“New York City FC today announced that head coach Patrick Vieira is leaving the club to join OGC Nice, effective immediately,” a club statement read.
“Vieira departs after two and a half years at the helm having led the team to two consecutive play-off appearances and with a current second place standing in the Eastern Conference.”
Vieira became a household name in England after joining Arsenal from AC Milan in 1996 as he went on to become the driving force behind three Premier League title successes under Wenger.
He captained the unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ side in 2003/04 before a spell back in Serie A with Juventus and Inter Milan followed.
Vieira would return to England to play for Manchester City, going on to become a club ambassador and then the coach of the development team.
As the City Football Group continued to grow, branching out into Major League Soccer with NYCFC, Vieira would eventually become head coach of he American side in 2016.
Now he faces his first test as a manager in Europe, taking over at Nice as he looks to build a reputation similar to that he enjoyed during his playing career.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies