x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Vieira on a quest to leave legacy of Manchester City around globe

Former France midfielder takes time off to train children in Abu Dhabi, stressing on importance of strong relationship between Premier League club and supporters world over.

ABU DHABI // Patrick Vieira appeared to have lost none of his ability as a high-class international midfielder when he joined in a session of keep ball with club coaches and Academy players before a Manchester City School of Football programme at Zayed Sports City yesterday.

The retired France World Cup winner, now City's football development executive, arrived in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning and the 35 year old wasted no time in lacing up his boots and joining in a warm-up exercise, alongside a fleet-footed Swedish-born Academy prospect, before passing on his expertise to UAE schoolboys attending the 10-week programme in Abu Dhabi.

Coaches from the club, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, help young players improve their skills and also provide the opportunity for all participants to enjoy the Manchester City Football Saturdays where they play games under the supervision of club coaches, when they are able to hone the skills they have learnt during the week.

"It's always good for the club to come here and give something back to the people of Abu Dhabi," Vieira said. "It's really important to build this relationship between the club and fans from a different country. Manchester City are doing the most between the club and the fans all around the world and that is the best way to thank them for their support. Everywhere we go we try to leave a legacy."

kaffleck@thenational.ae