Friends now foes.
They shared seven major honours on the pitch together including two Premier League titles and a modest one World Cup.
It’s fair to say that Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry have been through the footballing trenches together.
The Arsenal greats are considered as two of the very best to have played the game and the juggernauts will now be reunited but in an entirely different capacity.
No longer are they teammates throwing on slightly oversized O2 shirts, the pair will instead slip into their smartest suits and bump heads in the dugout.
Henry’s struggling Monaco will host Vieira’s Champions League hopefuls Nice in what will surely be the most intriguing managerial clash across Europe this season.
Arsenal’s record goal-scorer has endured a torrid time since taking up his first managerial job and his Monaco side are currently languishing in 19th place ahead of the visit of Nice.
Mr ‘Va Va Voom’ has struggled to find exactly that this season and managed only two Ligue 1 wins since taking over from Leonardo Jardim in October.
Henry might be struggling but the same can’t be said for Vieira who took up the reigns at Nice last summer having developed his managerial know-how across various roles.
Kicking off his coaching career with Man City’s Elite Development squad, Vieira then became the head coach of New York City.
After three relatively successful years in MLS, Vieira was then given his first job managing a team in one of Europe’s top leagues with Nice.
With the exception of a very public falling out with the enigmatic Mario Balotelli, all has gone to plan for Arsenal’s legendary Invincibles captain.
Nice are currently sitting pretty in 8th place just four points shy of a lucrative Champions League spot.
Henry and Vieira’s steps into management are the latest in a particular generation of players who are now moving into coaching.
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are cutting their teeth in the Championship and Scottish Premiership respectively and both enjoying success on the way.
The rivalry that the English pair once shared on the pitch has now transformed into a debate around who will eventually make the better manager.
A similar comparison will inevitably be drawn between Henry and Vieira.
However the competition between the former Arsenal teammates will be even more scrutinised with the pair in direct competition twice a season in the same league.
They were both legends on the pitch and we have no doubts they will be legends of the dugout for many years to come.
We just hope they play nicely tonight.
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- Cesc Fabregas is the latest in a long line of players we’ll start to appreciate now they’re gone
- Remembering the Arsenal Champions League starting XI that should have ended football
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