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Patrick Vieira returns to France

Arsenal legend leaves NYCFC to become manager at Nice

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Patrick Vieira has coached his last game for NYCFC. The former Arsenal great is joining OGC Nice in France’s Ligue 1. He leaves behind Yankee Stadium for The Allianz Riviera.

Vieira announced his departure via Twitter:

There was much speculation about Vieira recently. Many thought that the Frenchman was being considered as Arsene Wenger’s replacement at Arsenal. When that didn’t pan out, the rumors continued to swirl.

Vieira brought a lot of legitimacy to NYCFC and helped establish the MLS franchise through his efforts. However, the opportunity to return to France and become the head coach at one of Europe’s top leagues was too good to pass up.

His new club took to Twitter as well to announce the manager’s appointment:

Vieira’s football trajectory is impressive. After a hugely successful playing career, he honed his coaching skills with the Manchester City reserves. His move to NYCFC brought Vieira to the number one sports market in the United States where he helped establish the club and worked with some big names such as David Villa and Andre Pirlo.

Vieira is an established hero in France. He captained the national side and was part of the squad that won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.

Looking at this appointment from an Arsenal point of view is interesting. The former club captain is back in Europe and getting his first chance to manage in one of the world’s strongest leagues. Vieira was passed over at Arsenal for Unai Emery. Perhaps he is one step closer to returning to North London as manager one day down the road.