Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has been appointed as the new manager of RC Strasbourg on a three-year contract.
The 47-year-old had been without a job since his departure from Crystal Palace in March, but now he is ready to make a return in the French top flight.
Vieira’s arrival at Strasbourg marks the end of Frederic Antonetti’s tenure as manager. Antonetti successfully guided Strasbourg away from relegation last season but mutually agreed to part ways following the recent ownership change.
Patrick Vieira, who captained Arsenal during the Invincibles season, expressed his excitement about joining Racing.
“I am particularly happy to join Racing. I know the history and the identity of this club, the fervour it arouses, the importance it has for its region, which is a place of football and passion.”
The timing of Vieira’s appointment coincides with the recent acquisition of a majority stake in Strasbourg by Chelsea’s owners. Strasbourg finished 15th in Ligue 1 last season, narrowly avoiding relegation by five points. The investment from Chelsea’s owners brings a new wave of optimism to the club, and Vieira’s arrival is set to further enhance their prospects.
This isn’t the first time Vieira has worked within a multi-club group. He previously coached Manchester City’s under-23s before taking charge of New York City FC, another club under the City Football Group umbrella.
Commenting on the club’s recent progress, Vieira remarked, “The rebuilding of the club in recent years, under the direction of Marc Keller (Strasbourg president), is an example to be admired. Working with him is a real pleasure for me.
“Today, a new cycle begins for Racing, and it is exciting as a coach to be able to build something while relying on the values that have defined the strength of the club.”
Vieira’s coaching career began in 2011 when he retired from playing and took charge of Manchester City’s elite development squad in 2013. He later ventured to the MLS with New York City FC before returning to Europe with Nice in Ligue 1.
During his tenure at Nice, Vieira achieved a commendable seventh-place finish in his first season. However, a poor run of form led to his dismissal in December 2020.
In July 2021, Vieira returned to the Premier League, taking charge of Crystal Palace. In his debut season, he guided the Eagles to a respectable 12th-place finish while also leading them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Unfortunately, Vieira’s stint at Palace came to an end in March when he was dismissed with the team winless in 2023 and only three points above the Premier League relegation zone.