Monaco manager Thierry Henry says he will not like Nice boss Patrick Vieira “for a little bit” when the ex-Arsenal and France team-mates meet for the first time in their managerial careers.

Vieira became Nice manager last June, while Monaco hired Henry in October.

The pair face each other in Wednesday’s Ligue 1 game, after the fixture was postponed for security measures amid anti-government protests in France.

“He is a friend of mine and he is a guy that I admire,” said Henry.

“Not only for the player but also for the man, and the game will not change that.

“But it is Monaco versus Nice which is the most important thing, and for a little bit, we are not going to like each other.”

Having won the 1998 World Cup together for France, Henry and Vieira went on to secure five major trophies in the same team at Arsenal.

Fellow Frenchman and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger built his ‘Invincibles’ – a double-winning team that went through the entire 2003-04 domestic season unbeaten – around fellow countrymen Vieira and Henry.

Vieira was a combative central midfielder who captained the side and Henry – the Gunners’ all-time top goalscorer with 228 – provided class and elegance up front.

The duo built a lasting legacy at the club, in a period in which they delivered two Premier League titles and three FA Cup trophies at Highbury, while Vieira also played a pivotal role in Wenger’s first league and cup double in 1998.

Current Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi said he moved to Emirates Stadium from Ligue 2 side Lorient in the summer, because he “fell in love with the club” watching Henry and Vieira as a boy.

Team-mates for club and country, the pair also won France’s first World Cup on home soil in 1998, before adding the European Championship two years later at Euro 2000.

Following their spell together in north London, Vieira played for Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City, before taking on a coaching role at Etihad Stadium.

Henry won the Champions League with Barcelona before eventually retiring while at Major League Soccer (MLS) side New York Red Bulls.




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