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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
    Lonley Planet

    Default Vieira joins Man City on loan, 1-year option

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    Patrick Vieira signed an initial six-month deal with Manchester City on Friday, which the departing Inter Milan midfielder hopes will boost his chances of making France's World Cup squad.

    City has an option to extend the 33-year-old former Arsenal captain's deal by a further year if he proves he can still cut it in the Premier League.

    Vieira says he can help fifth-place City achieve Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour's aim of a top-four finish to qualify for the Champions League -- and more.

    "At Arsenal one year we won the title from 15 points behind at Christmas. Everything is possible," Vieira said. "We should not be afraid to say that we are good enough to win the league because we are and as a team we should believe we can do it.

    "We can achieve something really special here. I want to convince the City board and the City players and fans that I didn't come here just to spend six months."

    The deal sees Vieira reunited with former Inter manager Roberto Mancini, who replaced Mark Hughes at City last month. Together, they won three Serie A titles at Inter.

    "Patrick is a world-class midfielder with a winner's mentality and will fit into this group very well," Mancini said. "He knows me and my staff well, and importantly he also knows what the Premier League is all about. He will not need much time to settle in.

    "Patrick is one of the great players of his era with almost every honour in the game against his name."

    Vieira spent nine seasons at Arsenal, including the unbeaten title-winning campaign in 2004, before joining Juventus the following year.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Vieira and City will make a "perfect marriage."

    "Patrick needed to change clubs to play, so he could be competitive," said Wenger, who has been at Arsenal since 1996.

    Vieira's spell at Juventus only lasted a year before a match-fixing scandal prompted his 2006 move to Inter, where he had fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho, who replaced Mancini.

    Mancini identified Vieira as the ball-winning midfielder to replace Michael Johnson, who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and Vincent Kompany, who is being deployed as an emergency central defender.



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