Vieira announces retirement

Former France international Patrick Vieira has announced his retirement to take up a development role with Manchester City.The 35-year-old, who was listed for a free transfer after City opted against renewing his contract last month, has been named the club’s new football development executive.

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

“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.”

“I am particularly pleased to be given the opportunity to work with the club’s community scheme.”

“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.”

“I am very happy to have been given the chance to stay and develop my career away from the pitch.”

Viera retires after more than 400 appearances at club level for the likes of Cannes, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City, winning three English Premier League titles and four FA Cups with the Gunners.

He was capped 107 times for France and was part of Les Bleus’ 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 winning campaigns.

“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,” said City’s chief operations officer Brian Marwood.

“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.”