Patrick Vieira touts “fantastic” New York City F.C. deal

(Image, Manchester City Facebook)
(Image, Manchester City Facebook)

(Image, Manchester City Facebook)

Thierry Henry stood up from his locker after entertaining a media scrum in the wake of the Red Bulls 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. Intrigued by a mass of attention on the other side of the room, he gazed through the herd of reporters and locked eyes with an old friend.

With a loud laugh, Henry made his way towards former teammate Patrick Vieira and walked his friend to a private area in the locker room to share some time together.

New York City F.C. wasn’t even a whisper then, but Vieira’s Yankee cap should have been the first clue. Then again, how could it be? The former French international was in town for Saturday’s Manchester City v. Chelsea FC match at Yankee Stadium. That was perhaps as deep of a connection as anyone could piece together.

Now, Manchester City and the Yankees have revealed a full picture of their plans and for one, Vieira couldn’t be more excited.

“As a personal point of view, I am a big fan of New York,” he explained. “Helping create this club in New York is fantastic … I come into New York every year.”

Vieira owns an apartment in Manhattan which he frequents whenever he can. He knows, from first hand experience, just how important this market can be and feels it is a natural progression for Manchester City if they wish to become a global name.

“I think it’s important if you want to be a big brand worldwide, it’s always good and important to be part of the United States.”

Since leaving the professional football ranks, Vieira took on a position with City’s development program and was recently named the Head of the Elite Development Squad. While explaining that all of his energy and effort is going into that role, Vieira’s excitement for the coming New York City F.C. project is palpable and he wants to play any part in helping it succeed.

“I would love to share my experience and knowledge of the game with people like Claudio Reyna who already has all the knowledge of the game,” he said. “To be closer to him and talk to him would be fantastic.

“It’s a fantastic project for Manchester City and New York. As a football club, we are rightfully proud to announce the new team in New York. It is unbelievable.”

Vieira also touted the success of Major League Soccer. “Thierry Henry at the Red Bulls, Mikaele Silvestre in Portland,” he began, “and the passion for the game is really big in this country and I think with the announcement it is going to get bigger. I believe there is a big soccer fan base in the U.S.

“I love it, and of course, having these two clubs here, we will exchange knowledge as well. It’s going to be good, fantastic.”