Crystal Palace are delighted to announce Patrick Vieira as Roy Hodgson's successor at Selhurst Park, becoming manager of the Premier League club on a three-year deal.
After months of evaluation, following Hodgson's announcement to leave south London on May 19, it was the former Arsenal captain who surfaced as the preferred candidate.
The Eagles, under safety net management of Hodgson, have endured Premier League status for nine consecutive seasons, finishing 14th last time out.
For the 45-year-old, the task is simple; to maintain Premier League inelasticity, and to build on the foundations that Hodgson had built before him.
Patrick Vieira will look to build on his illustrious football career
Considered one of the best players of his generation, Vieira played an integral part in Arsenal’s domestic success between 1997 and 2005 under Arsene Wenger, winning three Premier League titles and four F.A. Cups. He represented the north London club 396 times and was named in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year for six consecutive years.
After leaving Arsenal, the midfielder went on to spend a season at Juventus, before securing more silverware at Inter Milan (three Serie A titles and two Supercoppa Italiana cup triumphs) and Manchester City (one F.A. Cup win) where he brought to a close a remarkable playing career in 2011.
On the international stage, Vieira made more than 100 appearances for France over a 12 year period, which included several spells as captain, winning the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and UEFA European Championship in 2000.
Having hung up his boots, Vieira began his transition into coaching at Manchester City’s Academy, embarking on a four-year apprenticeship in management that included a spell managing the club’s Elite Development Squad.
He departed City for the States, and the 2016 Major League Soccer season, taking up the managerial position at New York City FC, who had finished 17th the season prior.
He led them to second place in the Eastern Conference in his first season, with the side finishing fourth place overall. The next season, another second-place position in the Eastern Conference was secured, and Vieira’s side ended overall league runners-up.
Vieira subsequently returned to France to manage Ligue 1 club Nice in 2018, securing a seventh-place finish in his first season - one place higher than their previous campaign. In 2019/20, Vieira’s side placed fifth in a curtailed season, securing a Europa League spot in the process.
“I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club, as we begin a new chapter together," Vieira said.
With Palace's list of players whose contracts have expired in the double digits, it is a project that the former OGC Nice boss will have to tackle right from the offset, but he is more than ready for the challenge.
"It is a project that is really appealing to me, having spoken a lot with the chairman [Steve Parish] and sporting director [Dougie Freedman] about their ambition and plans for the whole club, including the academy.
"The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward."
Steve Parish's comments