It is the morning after Patrick Vieira was inducted into the Premier League’s Hall of Fame. The ceremony, held in central London, stirred memories of his glittering past. “A lovely evening,” he smiles. But these days he doesn’t allow much time to reminisce.
In a quiet corner of Crystal Palace’s Beckenham headquarters barely 12 hours later, his focus has already switched back to management. Vieira, a World Cup winner and three-time Premier League champion as a player, is now making his name in the dugout.
His first season in charge of Crystal Palace has brought memorable highs. Victories over his former clubs Manchester City and Arsenal. A trip to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final. And all with a young, hungry team playing exciting, imaginative football.
On Monday, they host Leeds aiming to extend a five-game unbeaten run at Selhurst Park. For Vieira, the meeting with Jesse Marsch, a manager he faced numerous times while at New York City, is also a reminder of the coaching journey that got him here.
- Vieira, Rooney latest to be inducted to Hall of Fame
- Preview: Crystal Palace vs Leeds live on Sky
- Get Sky Sports for your home | Get NOW
‘I used to say coaching wasn’t for me’
Vieira didn’t want to be a manager.
Or at least, he didn’t think he wanted to be a manager.
“It wasn’t something that I was planning, to be honest,” he tells Sky Sports. “When I was playing, I used to say coaching wasn’t for me, that I wanted to do something else. It was not in my head.”