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Jul 14, 2011

Vieira quits for City role

Patrick Vieira has retired from football and taken on a role as football development executive at Manchester City.

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Vieira, 35, joined City from Inter Milan in January 2010 to help provide leadership and experience, but his contract expired this summer.

He told the club's official website: "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.

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

Brian Marwood, City's chief operations officer, added: "Patrick is the ultimate professional and it is our very great privilege to introduce him as our new football development executive. 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."

Vieira enjoyed a glittering career for club and country. With Arsenal, he won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup four while, with Inter, he secured four Serie A titles. With France, he won the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reacted to the news of Vieira's retirement by hailing his former charge as a "special" player, who contributed to one of the club's most successful eras.

Wenger said: "You can only have lot of respect for what Patrick has achieved. His career is sensational. He was an exceptional player for us.''

"We have classy players in midfield now but Patrick was special. He was a tall player with good technique,'' Wenger told the club's website.

"We have exceptional players in midfield with their own character. But at Arsenal we will be forever grateful for Patrick's contribution.''

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