Patrick Vieira stunned by differences between AC Milan and Arsenal in 1996

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Patrick Vieira stunned by differences between AC Milan and Arsenal in 1996
Photo: David Davies/PA
Patrick Vieira has revealed the shock he felt when joining Arsenal from AC Milan because of how "unprofessional" it was there.

The Frenchman departed Milan for Arsenal in 1996 as a 20-year-old who had only made two first-team appearances for the Italian giants.

Vieira was Arsène Wenger's first signing for the Gunners, but had been playing with the likes of Roberto Baggio, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini in Serie A.

Speaking to The Overlap podcast hosted by Gary Neville, the 47-year-old admits it was a bit of a culture shock when he first arrived at Highbury.

Coming to England, going to Arsenal, I didn't know what to expect.

I didn't have a clue about the Premier League because in France the biggest league was the Italian league. Serie A was the most followed league in France.

So at that period I didn't know anything about Arsenal. Arriving there I was really impressed by the unprofessionalism.

I came from AC Milan, and AC Milan had players arriving one hour or two hours before training, well dressed. [Alessandro] Costacurta was coming every day to training with a suit and tie.

They were having their lunch after training and some of them were sleeping at the training ground before going back home. It was really professional. That is where I really learned the job.

Coming to Arsenal, it was really the opposite. It was different. The mentality was completely different, and I felt really comfortable with it and I loved it.

It was quite relaxed, laid back, it was all about what was going on on the field. It was about the passion and not thinking about tomorrow, it was about training 100 percent.

We could train well, we could train bad, there were some technical mistakes but we were always giving 100 percent.

That was totally different from the Italian culture that I learned before.

Vieira would go on to win three Premier League trophies, four FA Cups, and captain the "Invincibles" during his nine years at North London.

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