Patrick appeared in 406 matches for Arsenal over a 9 year period.
Born in Dakar, Senegal, his family moved to Dreux, France, when he was eight. He first played for AS Cannes, where he made his debut at the age of 17 and captained the team aged just 19.] In the summer of 1995, he was signed by the Italian team Milan, though he played mainly in the reserves and made only two first-team appearances.
In August 1996, he joined Arsenal, in a £3.5 million move, Patrick later revealed he signed for Arsenal because his compatriot Arsène Wenger was going to be the club’s next manager; Arsene was officially manager of Arsenal by the start of October. His performances for Arsenal in the subsequent months made him a fans’ favourite. He ended his first season with 38 appearances in total and Arsenal finished in third place, missing out on a spot in the UEFA Champions League via goal difference. His partnership with French international team-mate Emmanuel Petit the following season was instrumental in helping Arsenal complete a domestic league and cup double. After a successful 1998 World Cup campaign with the national team, Patrick had another productive season at Arsenal in 1998–99. Although Arsenal failed to retain the Premier League, Vieira’s endeavour was rewarded as he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.
Disciplinary problems beset Patrick during his time with Arsenal and it was feared that he was prepared to turn his back on English football as he felt victimised. Wenge, several Arsenal players and fans supported him publicly, amid speculation that Italian club Juventus were prepared to offer Vieira an escape route. However Patrick stayed and Arsenal finished second in the league for a third consecutive season and runners-up to Liverpool in 2001 FA Cup Final. He was later named the club vice-captain, to ensure he would succeed Tony Adams as captain. In the 2001–02 season; Arsenal regained the league and beat Chelsea in the 2002 FA Cup Final to complete a second double. In 2003, Patrick missed Arsenal’s title run-in, due to a knee injury, and they were overtaken by Manchester United who took first place. He was also ruled out of the 2003 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal won, but jointly lifted the trophy with captain for the day, David Seaman.
In spite of growing interest to sign Vieira, not least from Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea in the summer of 2003, he agreed terms to stay at Arsenal and signed a deal which ran until 2007. The 2003–04 season was a successful one for Arsenal, as they reclaimed the league title and became the first English team in more than a century to go through the entire league season unbeaten. He endured a mixed start to the campaign, as he was sent off against Manchester United in September 2003, banned for one match and later fined £20,000. However he scored the opening goal against Tottenham Hotspur, in what ended a 2–2 draw which was enough for Arsenal to regain the title. In the 2005 FA Cup Final, he scored the winning penalty in a penalty shoot-out after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United, which proved to be his final goal for Arsenal.
In July 2005, representatives of Juventus met with Arsenal, with a view to signing Patrick, and on 15 August 2005, he signed a five-year contract, in a deal worth £13.75 million, making his debut on 28 August 2005. Despite his performances dipping as the result of a persistent groin injury he helped Juventus retain the Scudetto, however Juventus were stripped of their 2004–05 and 2005–06 titles after it was revealed they were involved in a match-fixing scandal and were relegated to Serie B and had 17 points deducted.
On 2 August 2006, he officially signed a four-year deal for Internazionale. In his first season at Inter, he added to his trophy cabinet the Italian Super Cup as well as the 2006–07, 2007–08, and 2008–09 Serie A. On 6 January 2010, José Mourinho stated that Vieira had played his last game at Inter.
On 8 January 2010, he signed a six month contract at Manchester City and, subsequently agreed to a one-year extension. He made a late substitute appearance in May 2011, as City won the FA Cup with a 1–0 win over Stoke City at Wembley Stadium.
On 14 July 2011, he announced his retirement from playing and accepted a training and youth development role at Manchester City with the title of Football Development Executive.
Vieira made his debut for France and was part of the France squad in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He came on as a substitute in the final against Brazil, and set up Arsenal team mate Emmanuel Petit for France’s third goal in a 3–0 win. He, with the rest of the squad, was declared a Knight of the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest decoration, in 1998.
He subsequently played as a first choice midfield player in France’s successful campaign in Euro 2000, which they won, beating Italy in the final. He helped France to victory in the 2001 Confederations Cup, ending the tournament as joint top scorer with two goals, including the winner, a header, in the final against Japan. He also played in all three games in the 2002 World Cup, in which France were eliminated in the group stage, failing to score a goal. He was injured and missed France’s defeat to Greece at Euro 2004. He won a total of 107 caps for France, scoring six goals.
• Premier League: 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
• FA Cup: 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05
• FA Community Shield: 1998, 1999, 2002
• Serie A: 2006–07, , 2008–09, 2009-10
• Coppa Italia: 2009-10
• Supercoppa Italiana: 2006, 2008
• FA Cup: 2010–11
• FIFA World Cup: 1998
• UEFA European Championship: 2000
• FIFA Confederations Cup: 2001
• Division 1 Rookie of the Year: 1995
• UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2000
• FIFA Confederations Cup Silver Ball: 2001
• FIFA World Cup All-star team: 2006
• PFA Team of the Year: 1998–99 Premier League, 1999–2000 Premier League, 2000–01 Premier League, 2001–02 Premier League, 2002–03 Premier League, 2003–04 Premier League
• Premier League Player of the Season: 2000–01
• UEFA Team of the Year: 2001
• French Player of the Year: 2001
• Premier League Hall of Fame: 2022
• Premier League Overseas Team of the Decade: 1992–93 – 2001–02
• Premier League Overall Team of the Decade: 1992–93 – 2001–02
• FIFA 100: 2004
• Sports Illustrated Team of the Decade: 2009
• Équipe type spéciale 20 ans des trophées UNFP: 2011
• English Football Hall of Fame: 2014
• Golden Foot Legends Award: 2019
Manchester City EDS
• Premier League International Cup: 2014–15
. Knight of the Legion of Honour.