Nemanja Vidic epitomises the term ‘no nonsense defender.’
During his eight-year spell at Old Trafford, Nemanja Vidic often took no prisoners with his hard-hitting style of defending and he struck up an iconic partnership with the more technically-gifted Rio Ferdinand in the heart of the Manchester United defence.
Vidic recently revealed the toughest Premier League strikers he’s faced – interestingly leaving Fernando Torres off his list – and it comes as no surprise that plenty of forwards name Vidic when asked for the most difficult defenders to come up against.
Following Gonzalo Higuain’s recent assertion that Lionel Messi would struggle in the Premier League due to the physicality of defenders, the subject of tough centre-halves came up on talkSPORT.
Former Spurs, Aston Villa and Sunderland striker Darren Bent didn’t have to think for long to give his opinion on the defender he dreaded playing against most.
“Vidic!” Bent said.
“Straight away, no hesitation – Vidic.”
Bent then went on to give some insight into the character of Vidic on the pitch, revealing that the Serbian would leave everything on opposition attackers.
It wasn’t all nastiness from Vidic, however, as Bent told how the then-United captain would apologise but only after several reminders to his opponents that he was not to be taken lightly.
Bent continued: “He really was horrible, and solid. Absolutely solid.
“Studs about two inches long, right down the back of your Achilles and your calf…
“You know what’s funny, every time he’d hit you with a knee in your back, or he’d rake down your calf, he’d then be like: ‘Ahh, sorry Benty, sorry!’
“That after he’d done it about four times!
“He was so good, though. He could play. He and Rio Ferdinand had a really good partnership.
“But as far as being horrible and really aggressive – Vidic was the hardest I played against.”