Nemanja Vidic has outlined the four Premier League strikers he found the most difficult to play against at Manchester United.
The former United captain joined the club in 2006. He would go on to win five Premier League titles, three League Cups and a Champions League crown at Old Trafford.
Vidic forged a legendary partnership with Rio Ferdinand at the heart of United’s defence. The pair came up against some of the world’s best strikers on a weekly basis.
The former Serbian international has revealed the four toughest strikers he faced in the Premier League.
According to Vidic, the first frontman that sprung to mind was Peter Crouch. The Serbian namechecked Crouch and his partnership with Craig Bellamy as an eye-opener when he came to England.
“My first experience was Peter Crouch,” Vidic told the Athletic, as quoted by the Daily Star.
“I’d never seen a two-metre tall player before. He played for Liverpool and we played them in a cup game at Anfield. I was thinking ‘Wow, what can I do today with this guy’.
“Then I saw Bellamy next to him, not a great player on the ball but very, very fast.
“He would run into space, Crouch would jump into the air. I’d never seen football played like this.
“I’d never had a number nine and a sharp, fast, player next to him. I knew how to deal with them individually but not both of them at the same time. I played alongside Wes Brown, it was a tough game, a long game. We lost 1-0.”
Vidic also spoke very highly of Didier Drogba.
The pair had a long-running rivalry as both Man United and Chelsea dominated domestically and in Europe.
“He was a very clever player who would get into the brain of the defenders. He was strong, but he was always thinking ahead.
“Drogba scored so many important goals, he was very consistent. I played against him when we were both at the peak of our careers.”
Sergio Aquero and Luis Suarez were also namechecked by Vidic as two players he found difficulty in containing.
“I’m convinced that Aguero was born as a defender. He knows where the ball will come and where he can attack,” he continued.
“I played against him when they beat us 4-1 in the Moyes season.
“(Suarez is) an energetic player. He’s different from Aguero who doesn’t run for 90 minutes – he’s a player who uses instinct. Everything is done in bursts. I don’t think he knows exactly what he’s doing but he succeeds.
“The ball will go through a defender’s legs and people will think it’s an accident, but he has this sheer force to do it.”