On January 5th, 2006, Manchester United completed the signing of Nemanja Vidic from Spartak Moscow.
The Serbian centre-back arrived at Old Trafford with a glowing reputation, although even the most optimistic supporter could not have predicted the impact he’d have on Sir Alex Ferguson‘s side.
Vidic is now widely recognised as arguably the greatest centre-back in Premier League history, helping the Red Devils win five league titles, three League Cups and the Champions League.
Part of the reason why the no-nonsense defender was such a success at United was the partnership he forged with Rio Ferdinand.
For many years, the two centre-backs devoured strikers across Europe for fun and it’s hard to think of many better pragmatic duos in the 21st century.
The UEFA Champions League’s official Twitter account have released a superb video compilation to support that point as well.
Man United CHAOS! Man United players TURN on Rangnick! | Football Terrace
Check it out in all of its glory here…
Video: Vidic & Ferdinand’s brilliance together in the Champions League
What better way to celebrate the day Vidic signed for United, eh?
Both the Serbian icon and Ferdinand made the defensive side of the game look beautiful, combining classic old-school defending with modern day class on the ball to perfection.
And when you hear Ferdinand wax lyrical about his most famous partner, it’s easy to understand why they were such a success together.
“We didn’t work on it in training, we could smell each other’s movement,” the defender-turned-pundit said, per The Mirror.
“You just knew, it was instinct. I knew when he was going to go tight and I’d go round and cover. I knew when he was going to drop off, I’d push in. I knew when he was in a bit of trouble, I’d always hang back and be that safety net for him.
“He was the best partner and favourite partner I played with.”
Oh how United could do with a centre-back partnership like Vidic and Ferdinand right now…