Nemanja Vidic.

Nemanja Vidic names the 'dirtiest' player he ever faced at Manchester United

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Nemanja Vidic will forever go down as one of the Premier League's greatest ever centre-backs.

Now 36-years-old and retired from professional football, the Serbian was a born leader and inspired through his fearless displays for Manchester United.

And to think, he only cost Sir Alex Ferguson £7 million from Spartak Moscow back in 2005.

In Vidic's eight years in Manchester, he won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, five Community Shields and the Champions League once.

His partnership with Rio Ferdinand at centre-back had it all and is among the best to have ever played in England's top flight.

Both players had a fighter's mentality and were always willing to put their bodies on the line for United - especially Vidic.

In a recent interview with the Times, Vidic explained how he never let injuries get the better of him because he knew they could always be fixed, whereas his pride couldn't.

"Pride," responded Vidic when asked why he kept playing. "You can fix your nose, but if you let somebody score the goal your pride cannot be fixed.

"If you looked closely on the pitch you'd have seen others were bigger than me.


"But I understood this: that if I was going to win a challenge I had to go 150 per cent. Not 80 per cent, not 90 per cent, 150 per cent. That's mental strength."

Not many strikers got the better of Vidic during his time at United, with former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres being an exception to that.

Vidic once said Didier Drogba was his toughest ever opponent in the Premier League and now he's named the dirtiest - and it's a surprise.

According to Vidic, Rickie Lambert was the dirtiest player he ever faced when the Englishman was at Southampton, although he couldn't remember his name at first.

"I didn't know many dirty players," he said. "Maybe just this guy from Southampton, he also played for Liverpool."


Vidic was then asked if he meant Lambert, to which he replied: "Yes, him. I got an elbow from him. How did I handle it? You don't 'handle it'.

"He became very small for me then. I'm sad for him actually, in my career I can't think of any other player who wanted to hurt me."

Back in 2014, Lambert caught Vidic in the face with his elbow to leave the Serbian furious and with a bloodied face.

Lambert also scored in that 1-1 draw to end United's hopes of qualifying for European competition, which Vidic will never forget.

Ryan Giggs
Rio Ferdinand
Nemanja Vidic

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