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Vieira’s World Cup snub marks end of an era in French football

Text by Marc DAOU

Latest update : 2010-05-13

France coach Raymond Domenech has excluded Man City’s Patrick Vieira from his 30-player squad for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa. FRANCE24 takes a closer look at the closing of a chapter in French football history.

The once unthinkable decision was announced live on French TV Tuesday evening: Patrick Vieira will not play for Les Bleus at the World Cup.

The decision will be doubly painful for the French playmaker; not only will be miss football’s greatest tournament but he is also missing the first time that Africa has hosted the competition. Vieira was born in Senegal in 1976.

The unstoppable midfielder is a hero of French football and a player of international significance with a career laden in silverware. World champion in 1998, unlucky finalist in 2006 and Euro 2000 winner: his name will always be associated with the French national team’s finest moments.

Despite his monumental reputation
, France’s Raymond Domenech was not impressed, “He made some efforts but there are times when a choice has to be made.” Domenech did, however, say that the decision was a, “wrench”.

Domenech’s “lack of class”

“He [Domenech] made his choice. It is a sport choice, I accept it”, Vieira said on Canal Plus Sport minutes after he heard the news live on TV along with the rest of France.

However, Vieira also made it clear that he did not appreciate the way Domenech delivered the blow. Visibly angry, the 107-capped player went on to say, “To learn it at the last moment, it is a just a lack of class. That’s what annoys me the most. Some coaches know how to do it, others do not.”
Vieira underlined that this setback will not mark the end of his footballing career, however, stating “Of course I will continue to play. I’m passionate about and love football. I am lucky to play at a big club that has ambition.”
Vieira's ultimate challenge

The former national team captain, who will celebrate his 34 birthday next June, played probably his last international with Les Bleus during the anonymous friendly against Nigeria in June 2009.

Concerned at the start of the season that he was playing enough games at Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan to ensure a spot in the national team, Vieira made the bold move to Manchester City in the winter transfer window. However, his goal to play more football did not pan out as he expected. In five months, the former Arsenal captain played only thirteen games in the Premier League. And five of these he started on the bench.

A chapter in French football history has closed.



Date created : 2010-05-13


    Patrick Vieira fails to make French World Cup squad

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