Brought to England by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Patrick Vieira had a stellar playing career, starring for the Gunners, Manchester City, Inter Milan and, of course, the French national team.
Since his playing days, Vieira has gone into management, taking charge of OGC Nice and MLS side New York City before joining Crystal Palace in the summer.
Ahead of his first Premier League game as a manager on Saturday, Planet Sport revisits some of his most memorable moments as a player.
The trio would be instrumental in helping Arsenal to their maiden Premier League title in the 1997/98 season as well as a cup triumph. This was just the start of the success for Arsenal's new era.
Vieira's highlight from that campaign was a superb strike from an acute angle in the 27th minute of a crunch match against title rivals Manchester United.
The away team thought they had cleared the danger but Vieira returned it with aplomb, curling it over Peter Schmeichel and into the top corner.
Vieira made his international debut for France in 1997 and was part of their 1998 World Cup squad but it was at the Euro 2000 tournament where Vieira rubber-stamped his world-class status.
He was the first-choice midfielder in a team that featured the likes of current France boss Didier Deschamps, Henry and David Trezeguet.
The French defeated Italy in the final courtesy of a Golden Goal in extra time from Trezeguet after a 1-1 draw in the 90 minutes.
Vieira was one half of one of the greatest player rivalries in Premier League history. When these two met you knew things were going to get heated.
Fierce warriors for the dominant sides of the era, Vieira and Keane had to get the upper hand at all costs. Whether it was with words or with actions, there was no denying the competitiveness of these two players.
The most iconic moment was a war of words in the tunnel of Highbury in 2005, a game that Man United would win 4-2.
The spat was caught on camera and makes for some very tasty viewing!
Captain of the Gunners
Following centre-back Tony Adams' retirement in 2002, it was the turn of someone else to lead Arsenal. They were big boots to fill: Adams had captained Arsenal since he was 21 in 1988 and had led Arsenal to two recent league and cup doubles.
The man that Wenger decided was fit for the job was none other than Vieira. An outstanding presence, like Adams, on the pitch Vieira flourished in the role and helped Arsenal to further success.
Success comes in many forms but leading your team through a Premier League campaign without losing a single game has to be up there with the best.
Arsenal reclaimed the Premier League title and became the first team in more than a century to go unbeaten for a full season.
Vieira lifted the trophy after Arsenal boasted a record of 26 wins, 12 draws and 0 defeats.
On a personal level, the rangy midfielder played 29 games and scored two crucial goals - one against Chelsea to open up a seven-point gap at the summit and one against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-2 draw that secured the title for Arsenal.
Last kick in an Arsenal shirt
It was a script Vieira could have written himself; his last kick for Arsenal was an FA Cup-winning penalty against arch-rivals Manchester United.
After Paul Scholes missed his spot-kick, it all came down to Vieira, who slotted home to win the match as the Gunners became the first team to win the FA Cup on penalties.
Three consecutive Serie A titles
Vieira only managed to play around half the league matches in each of his campaigns at the San Siro but he was a part of the team that won the Serie A title three seasons in a row.
A long list of trophies
The midfielder's career was littered with success and his list of honours is quite astonishing. He won three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, a World Cup, a European Championship and three Serie A titles.
His leadership, courage and competitiveness will always be remembered fondly by Premier League fans and he will go down as one of the best French midfield players of his generation, if not all time.
Palace fans will now be hoping his success on the pitch translates to the dugout.