Patrick Vieira Names His Ultimate 5-a-side Team


  • Patrick Vieira was handed the extremely difficult task fo naming his ultimate 5-a-side team from players he played alongside.
  • The ex-midfielder shared a dressing room with some of the greatest of all time as he represented teams such as Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and a World Cup winning France team.
  • Fellow Arsenal and France star Thierry Henry leads the line for Vieira’s world-class team of five.

Patrick Vieira had an incredible career at the elite level, having shared the pitch with some of the greatest players to have ever stepped onto a football field. This made his task almost impossible when Gary Neville asked him to create his ultimate 5-a-side team from the players he played with during his playing days.

The French midfielder represented some of the biggest clubs in world football – AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus and Inter Milan – as well as lining up for one of the most successful nations in football history, France. This meant he had an abundance of options to pick from.

Vieira was given the challenge to name his dream 5-a-side made up of ex-teammates on an episode of ‘Stick to Football’ on Neville’s The Overlap YouTube channel. The likes of RObert Pires, Ashley Cole and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all missed out, proving how much quality is running through the team. See what Vieira said (Starts at 1:12:36):

Patrick Vieira’s Ultimate 5-a-side Team


Played With Vieira For:

Appearances With Vieira

Patrick Vieira



Claude Makelele



Zinedine Zidane



Dennis Bergkamp



Thierry Henry

France, Arsenal


Patrick Vieira

The man himself

Arsenal's Patrick Vieira grinning in celebration

Of course, Vieira had to include himself in the team. The French midfield lynchpin was almost unplayable at his best as he captained the only ever Premier League team to go through an entire campaign without tasting defeat. His massive contributions to the ‘Invincible’ Arsenal team of the 2003/04 season were just the tip of the iceberg, as the all-action dynamo had already cemented his status as one of the best midfielders of his era.


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Being part of Les Blues’ World Cup triumph in 1998, Vieira quickly rose to prominence as he became a sensation in the middle of the pitch, capable of both attacking and defending. It’s a good job he didn’t mind getting stuck into the less exciting parts of the game as Vieira – alongside the next man in the team – would need to do a lot of the dirty work for the more expressive players still to come. He would relish that opportunity.

Claude Makelele

A strong friend and foe

Claude Makelele-1

Sitting alongside Vieira and propping up the rest of the team is Claude Makelele. The man was so good that the defensive midfield position was affectionately named ‘The Makelele Role’. Both ferocious midfielders enjoyed some wonderful battles during their Arsenal and Chelsea days, but they also teamed up to make a formidable force in the middle of the French national team.

Vieira explained the role he would hand to his ex-teammate, who appeared to have a never-ending battery whenever he took to the pitch:

“I would go for Makelele because you need people to run.”

He was imperious during spells with both Real Madrid and Chelsea and Makelele partnered Vieira in every single World Cup 2006 match as France reached the final before being defeated by Italy. His place in the team makes sense due to a lack of natural defenders.


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Zinedine Zidane

Partner in the midfield for France

Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane in France training

The French midfield including Vieira and Zinedine Zidane was one of the best the game has ever seen. With the former’s energetic displays and the latter’s wonderfully elegance and graceful performances combined, the duo were exceptional.

Earlier in the episode, Vieira had called his ex-colleague ‘the greatest’ as he expressed his joy at being able to share a pitch with the Real Madrid icon. Both men are regarded as two of the best midfielders the game has ever seen and any opposing 5-a-side team would struggle severely to cope with both even in the modern day.

Dennis Bergkamp

Fellow ‘Invincible’ member

Denis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira

There was no hesitation as Vieira instantly named Dennis Bergkamp as the first name on the teamsheet alongside himself. The 47-year-old didn’t even look to take a second to think about his options as he said: “Definitely Bergkamp.”


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The two men were instrumental in the Gunners’ aforementioned unbeaten campaign. This was the third time the dup lifted the Premier League trophy together as both Bergkamp and Vieira became fan favourites at Highbury. The mercurial forward is one of the most skilful players to have ever stepped onto a football pitch as he established himself among the greatest Dutch players of all time.

Thierry Henry

Teammate for Arsenal and France

Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Claude Makelele

While this team has been full of players from either his club or national team exploits, Thierry Henry was by Vieira’s side in successful moments for both. The incredible attacker is still viewed as one of the greatest players in Premier League history, if not the best.

Having played 313 games together, no other player lined up alongside the midfielder than Arsenal legend Henry. He found the net 228 times in all competitions for the Gunners and played a huge role in the north London side’s most recent title triumph in the 2003/04 campaign. With the talented players behind him in this brilliant 5-a-side, Henry would have a field day with his supreme composure and technical ability combined.

All statistics in this article are courtesy of Transfermarkt

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