Patrick Vieira has explained why he left his position with MLS club New York City to take over the reins at Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.
The former Arsenal captain said it was a difficult decision but one he could not reject. “After 8 years in the City group, it was difficult to leave, but there are some projects that you just can’t refuse.
“Here, everything has come together so that I can work well. I know that I will have the support of the people at the club.
“I thank the people at City for their understanding, because it’s not easy to let a coach go during the season.”
Vieira says he was attracted by the prospect at Nice and the opportunity to develop himself as a manager. “There is really everything you need to prepare the players and to work well. We are in extraordinary conditions.
“I can’t ask for more. I am happy, delighted. This is what I was looking for. I will work with passionate people, who will support me in the good and the bad times.
“They will be behind me: it gives me the confidence to work calmly and to give my best for the club.”
— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) June 11, 2018
“There is excitement. I watched the Gym’s last home games: the passion, the fervour are there. What pleases me is the relationship between the players and supporters.
“Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more rare in football, but at Nice, it’s still there. We need to keep it.
“It’s important to feel this positive pressure from the fans, it will push the players on to improve and give their all.”
“I am very happy to come back. I left France when I was 19-20 years old, but I have always followed the news and the evolution of Ligue 1, which is a competition that is becoming more and more difficult.
“I am really looking forward to starting. To be back in L1 was an objective. All of the conditions are here for me to work well.”
In his first press conference as Nice manager he explained that his playing career has no role to play on his position as manager. ““My career as a player doesn’t count anymore, it’s part of the past. Of course, I know the sacrifices that you need to make to succeed and I can guide the young players.
“My career will allow me to win 3 months… But the important thing is to win the confidence of the players, by giving them clear instructions through the message we give them.
“I hope to help them to express themselves, because I know that the talent is there.”
Vieira takes over from Lucien Favre, who was appointed Borussia Dortmund coach in May.
Assistant coach Christian Lattanzio, performance coach Kristian Wilson and physical performance coach Matt Cook have also left New York to join Vieira at Nice.
Manchester City’s assistant manager Domenec Torrent has left the Premier League champions to replace Vieira at the New York club, after 11 years spent working with Pep Guardiola.
World Cup winner Vieira retired at Manchester City aged 35 in 2011 and was named a football development executive at the Etihad.
In 2015, Vieira left his role as head coach of Manchester City’s Under-21s after signing a three-year contract with New York City.
The Major League Soccer side are part of the City Football Group founded by Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour.