Virgil van Dijk vs Nemanja Vidic has become one of the unexpected sporting narratives of lockdown.
It seems as though the absence of live Premier League action has drawn football fans to some of the competition’s biggest debates and few are bigger than the titanic battle of centre-backs.
But how has the debate transpired? Well, everything from Twitter threads, data studies, YouTube compilations and general social media chit-chat have been used to tackle the argument.
Vidic recently prevailed in a vote by GIVEMESPORT readers as well as in terms of Premier League statistics, but has been found to have suffered far more high-profile errors than Van Dijk.
- ‘Virgil van Dijk is good… but Nemanja Vidic was a beast’ compilation emerges
- Vidic vs Van Dijk: Video emerges of the Serbian’s worst moments for Man Utd
- Nemanja Vidic has been named a better defender than Virgil van Dijk by fans
Virgil van Dijk vs Nemanja Vidic
We could go round and round in circles all day and while we don’t have the definitive answer here for you today, we do indeed have a unique take on the argument by turning to the FIFA game series.
That’s right, we’ve sought to break down Vidic vs Van Dijk to the granular by taking their respective highest-rated base level cards in Ultimate Team history and comparing their in-game statistics.
So, you can check out who won across each of the 29 attributes between FIFA 20 Van Dijk and FIFA 12 Vidic by scrolling through the data – per Futhead.com – down below:
In Game: Physical
Acceleration: Virgil van Dijk (74)
Agility: Virgil van Dijk (61)
Balance: Virgil van Dijk (53)
Jumping: Virgil van Dijk and Nemanja Vidic (90)
Reactions: Virgil van Dijk (88)
Sprint speed: Virgil van Dijk (79)
Stamina: Virgil van Dijk (75)
Strength: Nemanja Vidic (93)
In Game: Skill
Ball control: Virgil van Dijk (76)
Crossing: Virgil van Dijk (53)
Curve: Virgil van Dijk (60)
Dribbling: Virgil van Dijk (70)
Finishing: Virgil van Dijk (52)
Free kick: Virgil van Dijk (70)
Heading: Nemanja Vidic (92)
Long passing: Virgil van Dijk (81)
Long shots: Virgil van Dijk (64)
Defensive awareness: Virgil van Dijk and Nemanja Vidic (91)
Penalties: Virgil van Dijk and Nemanja Vidic (62)
Short passing: Virgil van Dijk (78)
Shot power: Virgil van Dijk (81)
Sliding tackle: Nemanja Vidic (86)
Standing tackle: Nemanja Vidic (92)
Volleys: Virgil van Dijk (45)
In Game: Mental
Aggression: Nemanja Vidic (92)
Interceptions: Virgil van Dijk (89)
Positioning: Virgil van Dijk (47)
Vision: Virgil van Dijk (65)
Composure: Virgil van Dijk (89)
Final score: Virgil van Dijk 22.5-6.5 Nemanja Vidic
Clean sweep for Van Dijk
Talk about a landslide.
The findings from FIFA back many people’s claims that regardless of who you think was the better defender that Van Dijk is a much more rounded player than Vidic ever was.
Of course, his margin of victory is inflated by stats such as ‘long shots’ and ‘volleys’ which are ultimately irrelevant to centre-backs and the defensive stats are much closer.
Vidic does come out on top in terms ‘defensive awareness’, ‘heading’ and both tackling categories, but finds himself on the end of a whitewash in the physical section.
In other words, FIFA points towards a victory to Van Dijk which, in all honesty, only serves to elongate a Premier League debate that just refuses to die – and for good reason.