PATRICK VIEIRA made a rare appearance in a Champions League legends game – and revealed why he keeps turning down invites.
The 46-year-old Arsenal icon has turned down the chance to play in a number of games that have featured the sport’s all-time greats over the years.
But before the Champions League final in Istanbul, the former Inter Milan and Manchester City star, who was strong in the tackle, put on his football boots again.
Vieira speaks at the presentation of Expedia LiveHe said: “I don’t usually play games like this because I’m too competitive.”
“They play a little friendlier and I don’t know how.”
“I turned down a few because the game is competitive and you play to win and if you don’t, the game is meaningless to me.”
“I don’t have this in my locker so it’s not for me.”
Vieira’s team won a dramatic penalty shootout against the likes of Kaka, Luis Figo and Diego Milito.
He competed with former Arsenal teammate Robert Pires, as well as Julio Cesar, Cafu, Marco Materazzi, Esteban Cambiasso, Gaizka Mendieta, Vladimir Smicer and Patrick Kluivert.
But it’s the sidelines he’d rather return to.
Vieira turned down an immediate management comeback after being sacked by Crystal Palace in March.
He admits he really wants to get back on the bench now.
Vieira said: “I’ve had time to think about what my next challenge will be, but I definitely want to go back.”
“I had talks straight away after leaving Palace but it wasn’t the right time. I needed time to think and digest and now I feel good.”
“I’m passionate about it and I love it. I had a really good experience with Palace.”
“If it doesn’t work out, I have various plans that I would like to make, but my priority is football.”
Expedia Live is the Official Supplier of the UEFA Champions League, offering fans the opportunity to book travel and experiences and get expert advice on places to explore after the final whistle