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Patrick Vieira



Patrick Vieira
Would be an automatic choice for France if it was not for the continued fine form of skipper Deschamps.

Vieira has proved himself a bargain signing since joining Arsenal from Milan for 3m in the summer of 1996.

He has helped transform the Highbury side, driving the midfield with Emmanuel Petit and linking defence and attack with lung-bursting efforts.

Born in Senegal, he missed the 1996 Olympics with a knee injury, having impressed at Cannes.

Milan picked him up at Christmas 1995, but he played just two league and two cup games before being signed by the Gunners - reportedly on the recommendation of yet-to-be-appointed manager Arsene Wenger.

He won the double in his second season at the club but has sometimes struggled with disciplinary problems.

But he claims to be a reformed character after being banned for spitting at West Ham's Neil Ruddock last autumn.



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