This Patrick Vieira story shows World Cup winners can still escape attention in America 5 years ago

This Patrick Vieira story shows World Cup winners can still escape attention in America

Football soccer has made great strides across the Atlantic, but there's always time for a reminder that household names in Europe don't enjoy the same notoriety in the States.

There aren't too many people in England or France who wouldn't recognise Patrick Vieira.


The midfielder captained Arsenal's 'Invincibles' in their unbeaten 2003/04 Premier League season and was also part of the French squads which won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

He also made an impressive start to life as a manager, taking New York City FC to a second-place finish in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference, but he's still got some work to do to be as recognisable in America as he is over here.


Speaking to the Telegraph about his managerial ambitions, Vieira told a story of how he's still far from a household figure in the US.

“I was sat next to a guy on one flight who asked me if I was some sort of sports player or coach,” the 40-year-old said.

"He was asking what I was doing, why I was there and other questions about the game, like how many players start.

"When he asked if I used to play, I said, ‘Yeah, I used to’. I don’t like to go into details. That’s not me. I didn’t show him my World Cup medal if that’s what you’re asking!"

“You have some people who recognise the players or coaching staff but there are a lot who don’t have a clue, who look at us and ask, ‘What sport are you doing?’”

While MLS has welcomed a number of prominent footballing figures in recent years - including NYCFC trio Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa - folks who can't walk to the shops uninterrupted in their home country have things very different across the pond.


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