Vieira: Young players do not dream of playing for England

The former World-Cup winning France international believes English youngsters no longer have the same desire to represent their national team and says the FA lack "power"
Manchester City football development executive Patrick Vieira has claimed young players no longer dream of representing England as they did in the past.

The former Arsenal midfielder earned 107 caps for France, helping his national team to win both the World Cup and European Championship.

However, the 36-year-old does not believe that international football is as highly regarded by players in the modern game.

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"In England, I really don’t understand how come so many young players from the age of 16 to 21 pull out of the national team through injury," Vieira told the Daily Mirror.

"I don’t know. I think it’s maybe the lack of FA ‘power’, I would say. I do not understand.

"Maybe this is a lack of love for the national team as well. When I grew up in France, I wanted to play for the French national team. That was my target, my dream.

"I don’t think this is the same for the under-16s, under-18s in England. I don’t think the young players are dreaming of playing for the national team any more.

"I don’t know the answer but, from the outside, I believe that in England they are not as proud as they are used to be. We are talking about the national team - that is bigger than anything else."

The Frenchman also insisted his love of playing for France did not come at the detriment of his club side, saying: "We are talking about the national team and that was something I was really proud to play for.

“That does not mean that I loved Arsenal less."