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France legend Patrick Vieira named New York City FC manager

Arriving on a three-year contract, he had previously led the Manchester City Elite Development Squad.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

The Bronx Blues weren't without a gaffer for long.

This morning, the club announced the hiring of Patrick Vieira, a titan of England's Premier League and the French National Team.

Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, who some assumed would follow axed manager Jason Kreis out the door, issued this statement today:

"Patrick was a legendary player and has all the characteristics required to make a fantastic Head Coach. His exemplary drive, passion and dedication have always marked him out as a rare talent and all of those qualities, alongside his understanding of the game, make him a natural choice."

Added club President Tom Glick:

"The open position of head coach at New York City FC has prompted significant interest and I have no doubt that in Patrick, we have one of the most impressive young coaches I have encountered. Patrick’s ability, vision and the respect in which he is held by everyone who works with him, speaks volumes for his character and capacity to succeed. I am excited to work with him and I know the energy he will bring to the role will have a hugely positive impact across the Club."

Vieira was born in Senegal but made his name as a French international, winning the 1998 World Cup. As the midfield linchpin of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal teams of the late 1990's and early 2000's, he won three Premier League championships and four FA Cups. He added three Serie A titles at Inter Milan before finishing his career at Manchester City.

He has led Man City's Under-21's, known as the Elite Development Squad, since July 2011. Notably, his EDS teams included Shay Facey and Angelino, the first two players loaned to NYCFC from the Parent Company.

Vieira will join the club at the beginning of January, which means he'll miss December's friendly trip to Puerto Rico. Here's what the newly-announced gaffer said in an official press release:

"I am delighted to take up the role of Head Coach of New York City FC. To work with this squad, with Claudio Reyna and Rob Vartughian and the fantastic support team that is in place, is an exciting prospect for any coach.

This established football set up, together with a passionate and loyal fan base, located in a special city which I know well, makes for an unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands.  I cannot wait to get started."

Stay tuned for lots more on this developing story as we roll along! We got to speak with Vieira himself over the summer-- we'll have the whole interview for you this week!