Hey, what’s up, it’s Hoff. Each week I’m going to bring you a breakdown of someone from the MLS. This segment is called “Who’s this dude?” and it’s going to get REAL.

Patrick Vieira – NYCFC Coach

Currently head coach over in the Bronx for the fledgling NYCFC squad, the French legend has quite the footy history behind him. You may not know it from his calm demeanor and boring press conferences, but this guy takes no flak. From anyone. Ever. You miss drills in practice? Benched. You design hats more than you design plays? Benched and probably sold. You post videos on instagram about beating another team? Benched, sold, nipple twisted, and disinvited to his annual croissant party. Let’s break down who this man really is:

Full Name: Patrick Vieira.  That’s pretty boring, not even a middle name?

Country: France. Though he was born Senegal, his family moved to France when he was young. He has French citizenship.

Defining physical features: Round head. Very round head. Like it’s almost shocking the first time you see it. Beautiful though. The perfect circle.

Playing career highlights: Vieira was a midfielder who loved to tackle and distribute the ball but he could also score. He was an absolute legend at Arsenal, winning 3 premier league championships and 4 FA Cups in his 9 years there. He joined Arsenal the same year club coach and now-legend Arsene Wenger joined in 1996. He managed to get himself suspended multiple times cause he was a fiery mamma jamma. Once for six games for spitting at a guy after an altercation which had him already sent off. He was also fined by UEFA for complaining about being targeted by racists while playing in the Champions League. Like WTF? I’d like to say the world has gotten less racist since then, but um….moving on. Vieira left Arsenal in 2005 to play at Juventus and then Inter Milan and finally Manchester City before retiring in 2011. Here’s a pretty tight highlight package that might also make you shed a tear if you’re an Arsenal fan:

Claim to fame: This guy’s got almost too many to list here, but here’s my favorites: He was on the cover of EA Sports’ FIFA 2005, He was in the super amazing and famous Nike commercial for the 2002 World Cup called “Secret Tournament” or “Scorpio KO” or “The Cage” whichever you prefer. But you know the commercial (see below). He was a member of the 2003/04 “Invincibles” Arsenal team that went undefeated to win the Premier League, he won the 1998 World Cup with France and lost in the 2006 World Cup Finals to Italy, He won the Euros with France in 2000, the confederations cup in 2001, and he was captain for a bunch of those teams. The guy has a room fashioned from melted down excess trophies to hold his important trophies. Not a fact, but plausible. He’s a winner, and here’s every “episode” of that sick commercial series from Nike back in ’02.

side note: the original Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are so dirty. Miss those guys.

Coaching Career: He had a few roles in player development at the youth level for Manchester City before getting the call from NYCFC. He’s only been at NYCFC for less than a year, but his impact is already being felt. As of when this post was written, NYCFC is in third place after finishing out of the playoffs last year. He’s also making some serious shakeups in the squad, like benching Mix and selling fan favorite Poku. Probably his best move so far as manager has been to do whatever it took to sign their hopeful future-star Jack Harrison from Chicago. Harrison was the number one pick in the draft and Vieira gave up the fourth pick and some allocation money for Jacky boy. He’s also signed Mattarita, a Costa Rican international, and Boca Juniors loanee Frederico Bravo, which seem to have worked out pretty well so far. He, um, I’m not sure how to put this… *GULP*…signed Frederic Brillant. Jury’s still out on that one…?

Fun little fact: Vieira’s last kick as an Arsenal player was a penalty shot in the FA Cup final which he drilled to win the title for Arsenal. You knew that though because you watched the above highlight reel, so here’s another fact for ya: Vieira won 4 Serie A titles (Italian premier league), 3 with Inter Milan and 1 with Juventus, but the 1 with Juventus was stripped from the club after news of a match-fixing scandals broke. Vieira had nothing to do with the scandal, and bounced form Juventus straight to Inter Milan.

I’ll leave you with this quote from the Zlatan about Vieira that sums it up: “For me, (Patrick) Vieira, is one of the best players I ever played with. The guy was a monster when I played and he (taught) me a lot outside and inside the pitch,” he says. When an egomaniacal man-bun supporter like Zlatan is saying humble stuff like that about you, you know you’re the real deal. By the way, in this same interview, Zlatan “labeled” Pep Guardiola “not a man.” ohhh Zlatan, you rascal!

So next time you’re screaming  “Vieira you suck! This guy knows nothing! Who’s this guy anyway?!” like a complete moron from the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, pull up this post and have a little respect for probably the most decorated MLS coach of all time.

 

Vieira looking on in absolute disgust at the NYCFC game. Not sure if this is related to Mix or the general grass quality in the Bronx

“For the last time, this is what a soccer ball looks like. My head, though round and so smooth it’s often compared to smooth jazz legend Kenny G, is not a soccer ball and should not be attempted to be thrown into the game by the ball boy, thank you very much!” – Vieira seems to shout this to the ref mid match, but I’m pretty sure the ref was just asking him for the ball back.