Patrick Vieira is one of the Premier League’s greatest ever central midfielders. The former France international was the driving force in The Gunners, and arguably English football’s greatest ever team. Here our some of the best quotes ever about the Arsenal legend …
“Not a lot of players in the history of the game compare to Patrick.” Thierry Henry.
“There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do, and he was hard as nails as well.” Paul Merson.
“(A) leader and natural-born winner. He has everything you could want from a midfielder. He can attack, defend and score goals. He’s brilliant at taking the ball in tight spots in the middle of the park and starting attacks.” Ian Wright.
“Two players in one. He has tremendous physique, but also sophisticated technique. And, what is very important for a modern midfielder, he has the goleador [‘goalscorer’] instinct.” Marcel Desailly.
“I talked to Patrick in fluent French and before a game I asked in French, ‘could you speak a little bit of English to me?’. He nodded and said ‘Tottenham are s**t’.” David Dein.
“He is the umbilical cord between the team and the fans.” Arsene Wenger.
“I used to look forward to playing him because he made every one of us raise our game. Arsenal had a great side, but I firmly believe without him they would’ve been 25 per cent weaker.” Peter Schmeichel.
“We both had that winners’ mindset… If anyone knew that, it was Patrick Vieira. He’s the type who gives one hundred percent in every situation, and I saw how he boosted the entire team. There aren’t many football players I have that kind of respect for.” Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“A monster, his partnership with Emmanuel Petit was as good as anything we have seen. His performance against Liverpool in the 2001 FA Cup final stands out. He was magnificent and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. In the dressing room afterwards, everyone kept saying: ‘how good was Vieira?’ Steven Gerrard still talks about that game as Vieira made him realise he had to climb a few more levels to reach the top.” Jamie Carragher.
“I don’t think we’ll ever be bosom buddies buying each other a drink in the pub but out of everybody I ever faced as a player, he drove me to become better. Obviously Arsenal were the team that really challenged Manchester United and, for a short time, went past us. And as their leader Patrick was immense. Without doubt I’d put him alongside (Zinedine) Zidane, (Paul) Scholes, (Steven) Gerrard and (Frank) Lampard as one of the very best I’ve ever played with or against, he was that good. On his day, when he was driving Arsenal on with the sheer force of his personality, he was unplayable.” Roy Keane.
“A player like Patrick isn’t born every year.” Roberto Mancini.