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Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Vieira confirms his future
Arsenal celebrate their double
It has been a week of celebration for Arsenal
  Photo Gallery: See this story in pictures

Patrick Vieira confirmed he will be at Arsenal next season.

The inspirational Gunners' midfielder is currently preparing with the French squad to defend the World Cup in France.

But he appeared to lay to rest any lingering fears Arsenal fans may have about his commitment to the club.

Real Madrid are among the clubs rumoured to be circling for Vieira, but he said: "I will definitely stay with Arsenal next season."

Although disappointed by Arsenal's failure in Europe, the Gunners' capture of the Premiership and FA Cup double has satisfied his desire for silverware.

Vieira said: "Since 1998 I have progressed a lot both with the French team and Arsenal.

"I feel more mature thanks to the experience I gained in England.

"I am very proud about what I have accomplished with the Gunners as well as about the status I have reached with the French national team."


We've played probably the best football I've ever seen in a team I've been part of
Dennis Bergkamp

Vieira's latest comments came in the wake of Arsenal's double triumph.

In the immediate aftermath, he said: "It's a wonderful feeling here. I'm playing at a fantastic club, I have really good friends in the team and we are winning so it's good.

"I just ignore what other people say as I know the truth, the club know the truth and the boss knows the truth.

"I just try to show to the fans on the pitch that I love the club and that I will stay here. I have two years left on my contract and I will be here next season as I don't want to leave."

Arsenal's victory parade was emotional for Lee Dixon who addressed the crowd outside Islington Town hall after bringing the curtain down on his 14-year playing career at Highbury.

Arsenal defender Sol Campbell
Campbell reaps rewards after opting for Arsenal
"I would just like to take this opportunity, without getting too emotional, to thank all my team-mates over the last 13 or 14 years," said Dixon.

"I want to thank all my managers and all the backroom staff who have helped me try to perform to the highest level, but most of all you lot.

"I would just like personally to thank every one of you for supporting the club and myself. I wouldn't have done any of this without you."

Boss Arsene Wenger led the celebrations, holding the Premiership trophy aloft and joining in with a rendition of Queen's `We Are The Champions'.


You can't say that you don't need Tony Adams as he's a match-winner
Thierry Henry

Winger Robert Pires, ruled out of the title run-in with a serious knee injury, was also present. He joined fellow France international Thierry Henry to raise the championship trophy.

Henry led the appeals for Tony Adams to extend his career into a 20th season at Highbury, as the captain considers retirement.

"You can't say that you don't need Tony Adams as he's a match-winner," he said.

Dennis Bergkamp said the double win was the "start of a great era" for the club.

"There was a period a month or so ago, when we were beating Newcastle, Sunderland and Charlton with three goals in five minutes, as well as Bayer Leverkusen," he recalled.

"That was probably the best football I've ever seen in a team I've been part of."

Ex-Tottenham centre-half Sol Campbell said he was thrilled to have won the double in his first season with the club.

"I've waited a long time for this championship and I will never forget this day," he said.

See also:

11 May 02 |  Arsenal
Wenger in awe of Henry
11 May 02 |  Eng Prem
Henry sparks Arsenal party
08 May 02 |  Eng Prem
Arsenal clinch Double
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