Vieira hangs up France shirt


LONDON, July 7 – Former skipper Patrick Vieira has confirmed that he has pulled the curtain down on his international career with France and will concentrate on performing for his club Manchester City whom he joined in January.The former Inter Milan and Arsenal player had hoped to be included in the French World Cup squad for South Africa but was left out by coach Raymond Domenech.

Even though Domenech has now left and been replaced by Vieira’s former teammate in the national side Laurent Blanc, the big midfielder insisted he has no plans to revive his international career.

"My focus is on City, nothing else. I want to do my best for the club. I want to repay the trust of the manager (Roberto Mancini), Brian (Marwood, football administration officer) and Garry Cook (chief executive)," he said.

France imploded in South Africa, falling at the first hurdle after the players boycotted a training session in protest at Nicolas Anelka being sent home.

The Chelsea striker headed back to London after a row with Domenech became public knowledge.

Vieira was saddened at the way events unfolded, adding on City’s official website: "I was there watching the games, hoping that France would do well. Obviously, they didn’t.

"I’m disappointed like every French person who loves the national team. It was difficult not being with the team, but I didn’t have the choice.

"It was a difficult moment. I think France are going through a tough period. We were expecting them to at least go through from the group to the first knockout round but they didn’t do it."