Patrick Vieira returns to Senegal

Published 8:35 AM ET, Wed May 21, 2014
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Despite playing for France, Patrick Vieira hails from Senegal. "This is where I was born, this is where my parents were born, this is where my grandparents were born, so that's why every time I come back to Senegal, to Dakar, it's very emotional," he told CNN. CNN
Vieira moved to France as an eight-year-old with his family, who were seeking a better way of life. He often returns to the country of his birth to promote new initiatives that are helping the development of the African nation. CNN
Vieira feels football has a vitally important role to play in helping to educate children in Senegal. "When you look around the world football is the number one sport and all the kids are wearing a football jersey, they are playing football," he said. "Football is really universal but it's open to everybody and so many kids dream of playing football, so you can use that sport to promote education and I believe we don't do it enough." CNN
Vieira added: "The power of football is really simple. Because of football, I speak different languages, because of football I've been traveling all around the world and football has had a massive impact on me developing as a person." CNN
Vieira on returning to Senegal: "I first came back, 20 years after leaving. I felt like I lost my memory a little bit to be honest because I had people around telling me when we used to play when we were kids, but I didn't have any clear images. But I went around and I went to the house where we used to live and it was nice to come back to where you were born and where the story begins." CNN