Media on the retierment of Man City midfielder Patrick Vieira - Manchester City FC

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Season 2011/12

Vieira bows out in style

  • 15 July 2011 08:44
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Patrick Vieira's retirement as a player naturally resonated around the world as one of the best midfield men of his generation revealed his new role with City on Bastille Day.

The Frenchman was never everybody's cup of coffee (Morning, Roy) but you'd feel better storming the ramparts with Patrick at your shoulder, and Reuters' tag of "muscular elegance" is spot on.

They reckon Vieira "provided what can best be described as muscular elegance for France and Arsenal during his heyday as one of the world's most effective midfielders.

"Powerfully built, and standing 6ft 4in, he was deceptively quick and had an immensely strong physical presence that enabled him to dominate midfield battles.

"He was not always quick enough to keep clear of trouble ... but Vieira will be remembered as one of the all-time greats for club and country."

Arsene Wenger, who toyed with re-signing him at 34, is quoted: "He had everything - the first time I ever saw him play as a teenager I knew he was something special. He never hid from anything and the more (responsibility) you gave him the stronger he became."

Reuters add: "Wenger did not in the end re-sign his old captain who instead played out the twilight of his career at Manchester City where his influence, if not his old battling qualities, helped the club enjoy long overdue success.

"The last appearance of his 18-year professional career - a brief cameo as a late substitute - came as City beat Stoke 1-0 in the FA Cup Final in May to win their first trophy since 1976.

Vieira will not be gracing the Champions League when City make their debut, but over the last 18 months he has played a supporting role in helping them get there

Well put. Or as Pablo Zabaleta says on Twitter, as reported by goal.com: "Hi everybody!!! Very sad day for football. Patrick Vieira retiring as a professional footballer. Great player and better person."

No room for verbosity on Twitter is there? We should all be on there - WTMS certainly is ...

Meanwhile, Ben Mee, at the other end of his career to Vieira (and also on Twitter), is going on a season-long loan to Burnley having done well in a spell with Sven's Leicester last season.  

Givemefootball.com quote Clarets boss Eddie Howe: "We have known about Ben for a long time actually and he really impressed against us for Leicester.

"He was outstanding that day and every time I have seen him he has done well. He has all the attributes - the right age, a very good footballer and a good defender as well, he ticks all the boxes."

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