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.

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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.

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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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