Patrick Vieira hangs up his boots at age of 35

Patrick Vieira has described the end of his playing career at the age of 35 as a sad day but is looking forward to taking up a new role off the pitch with Manchester City.

The Frenchman hung up his boots yesterday, 18 years after making his debut for Cannes, following a glittering career that has brought him World Cup and European Championship winners' medals as well as seven domestic titles and five FA Cups.

Vieira, who was released by City at the end of last season, has accepted a newly-created position as the club's football development executive and will help nurture young players among other responsibilities.

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The former midfielder said: "It was something I was preparing for in my head and I think it was the right time.

"It's a sad day and a sad moment but overall I've enjoyed the years I've spent in football."

Vieira was City manager Roberto Mancini's first signing when he left Inter Milan to return to the Barclays Premier League in January 2010.

He is planning to take his coaching badges, although he said a move into management is not something he is currently planning.