Patrick Vieira leaves New York City as he returns to France to kick-start his coaching career
Patrick Vieira has accepted an offer to take over as head coach at French Ligue 1 club Nice after he confirmed he was leaving New York City.
Former France midfielder Vieira, who held talks with Arsenal over their managerial vacancy last month, announced on Sunday night that he had decided to leave his post in New York to move back to his homeland.
Speaking about his departure, Vieira said: “I would like to thank City Football Group and New York City FC for the opportunity to have coached this tremendous football club. Leaving New York is an incredibly difficult decision for me and for my family and one that has not been taken lightly.”
“From the beginning, City Football Group and its leadership, particularly our Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Brian Marwood, Ferran Soriano and Marty Edelman have believed in me and have helped guide me through the last eight years of my career – starting with my time as a player and ultimately culminating with my first opportunity to manage a First Team.
“Having the opportunity to be a Head Coach in New York is something many dream of. Our incredibly passionate fans have made this one of the most special experiences I’ve had in football. Thank you to each and every one of you that stands by the team day in and day out.”
“From the fantastic staff in the front office, the outstanding sporting department lead by Claudio Reyna and the immensely talented players, New York City FC is a Club with a wonderful future ahead of it – I will always be a fan and it will hold a special place in my heart.”
Italian striker Mario Balotelli was Nice's leading scorer last season, as they finished eighth in Ligue 1 before coach Lucien Favre left to take over at Borussia Dortmund.