Patrick Vieira excited by Thierry Henry clash as Nice face Monaco
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 15/01/19 6:04pm
Patrick Vieira says he is excited to face Thierry Henry for the first time as managers when Nice play Monaco in Ligue 1 on Wednesday.
Vieira played alongside Henry for Arsenal from 1999 to 2005, winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cups.
But they are now rivals head coaches in France with their first match in opposite dugouts on Wednesday.
"It is strange because we spent so much time together," Vieira said. "We played, we won, we lost games together in the same team.
"We started our career, him in Monaco and me in Cannes. We have always been really close to each other. It's quite funny that we are both in the south for our first coaching jobs in France.
"I think we are both really excited about it. It never crossed my mind that we would be coaching, him Monaco and myself Nice and playing against each other, so close."
Nice are eighth in the league table, while Monaco are second from bottom in Henry's first season in charge.
Vieira is confident that his former France team-mate, who made 123 appearances for France and was previously Belgium assistant manager, will turn eventually turn things around.
"I think Thierry (Henry) is one of the best French players. I think he had a fantastic career. I would put him in the same level as (Zinedine) Zidane, Raymond Kopa or Michel Platini."
"What is really important for me is to focus on what's happening on the field. How we can train every day and try to put a system in place that allows us to be successful and win football matches.
"Each side has different issues but it's always complicated and makes things more difficult. I believe that he will find a way to get the best out of his players and be successful."