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Patrick Vieira

“There are no limits, and nothing is impossible”

What does limit mean to you?

I don’t know where the limit is and I don't want to fix myself a limit. There will always be something above that you will want to achieve.

Who sets the limits anyway?

I strongly believe that during my career I had limits put on me by other people. My challenge was to show them there's no limit, to show that I can go as high as they don't even think about.

Why do you believe in Eliud?

I absolutely believe that Eliud can do it because he is fully focused and he has the right support to make it happen. I think he's really up for it, he is so driven, it has become an obsession.

Achievments

1 x World Cup winner

1 x European Championship winner

3 x Premier League winner

4 x FA Cup winner

4 x Serie A winner

Patrick Vieira’s legacy in football inspires millions around the world, not only to pursue sporting achievements but to learn from mistakes and embrace adversity, he insists that “life experience is the best education as it gives you the strength to succeed”. Moving from his home town, Dakar, to Paris when he was just 8 years old, Patrick appreciates the challenges of adjusting to different cultures but believes that these experiences have shaped him as a player and as a person. 

Signing for his first team, Tours FC, as a young teen, Patrick had to step up and adjust to his new life as a professional, living away from home in a country still relatively new to him. From Tours, Patrick climbed the ranks quickly, signing for Cannes aged 17 and captaining the club just 2 years later. In recognition of this success, Patrick was transferred to Serie A club, AC Milan, in 1995. Despite a relatively short stint with the club, Patrick knows that his time at Milan, surrounded by the world’s best, was crucial in his education of the game. It was here that Patrick fully came to terms with what it meant to pursue a career in sports, the strength of mind and the sacrifice required. These crucial understandings helped Patrick to make his next move, this time to Arsenal a year later. “When I was in Italy, I really learned about the job, about what you need to do to be successful and I think when I took that with me to England and then I add the fact that I knew myself more, I just expressed myself.” 

Patrick saw unprecedented success while at Arsenal, helping the team to 3 FA cups and 3 premier league titles, one unbeaten. Alongside his club commitments, Patrick represented France in the final of the nation's victorious 1998 FIFA World Cup campaign and featured heavily when the team won the European Championships in 2000. It is fitting that Patrick has now returned to the country that gave him so many opportunities in the sport as he has taken on the role of manager at OGC Nice. The position has provided a way for Patrick to share his wealth of knowledge and experience while still satisfying his inner desire to never stop achieving. 

Despite the challenges Patrick has faced, he remains utterly grateful for his experiences and it is this positive mindset that separates him as an exceptional sportsperson. On the topic of mentality, Patrick insists that “if mentally you are not prepared to give yourself the best chance to make it happen, then it will be really difficult to achieve”, when an opportunity arises you have to “be prepared mentally to grab it and not to let it go”. It is this self-belief that enables top athletes, such as Patrick and Eliud, to always strive for more. Patrick insists that “We don’t fix ourselves a limit. We want to be best of the best. We want to achieve”. Due to their comparable determination and confidence, Patrick strongly believes that Eliud has what it takes to break the 2-hour barrier but equally insists that the result is not to be taken lightly, “it will take a lot of sacrifice, a lot of work and a lot of commitment to achieve that target. I believe that it will be one of the greatest achievements in sport.”