Nemanja Vidic struck fear in Premier League players like no other defender ever has.
While the likes of Jaap Stam, John Terry and Vincent Kompany might also have cut intimidating figures at centre-half, you’d be hard-pressed to argue that anybody has carried quite the same reputation as Vidic.
The Serbian was built to play in the Premier League with a never-to-die attitude that left the Old Trafford faithful believing that he’d sooner two-foot a brick wall than give up on a clean sheet.
The greatness of Vidic
In words of his iconic partner in crime, Rio Ferdinand, upon his retirement in 2016: “He became a defender that was feared. He could fight with the most physical, he crunched into tackles, and he attacked the ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
“But as he will tell you with a smile, he could also play with the ball too, which made him complete & a great defender. Because he was so good in the aggressive/attacking the ball areas people probably looked over his ability with the ball to his annoyance!”
And the accounts of other United players who shared a dressing room with Vidic are much the same, citing how he was happy to risk life and limb in order to bring silverware to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.
Whether it was putting his head where most players wouldn’t put their foot or playing on with blood still trickling down his face, Vidic really was the definition of a footballing warrior.
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Great memories of Vidic
As such, the Red Devils icon has left behind a trail of cult moments which are remembered by certain sections of the United support for being truly illustrative of what he brought to the team.
In other words, memories of times where Vidic looked hard as nails.
Here at GIVEMESPORT, being the admirers of Vidic that we are, we just recently reminisced on the moment that Mario Balotelli tried squaring up to the legendary centre-half only to find out that it was a terrible idea.
When Richards kung-fu kicked Vidic
And a certain Micah Richards can vouch for the fact that going directly up against Vidic only ever ended one way, as shown by an equally enduring moment from a Manchester derby back in 2008.
However, it wasn’t for a lack of trying as Richards – who is undoubtedly a physical presence himself with a muscly frame – essentially kung-fu kicked Vidic during the early exchanges at the Etihad Stadium.
Bringing his foot up to reach a lofted ball down the right flank, Richards unintentionally took a chunk out of Vidic who also tried to win possession and looked certain to come out worse off from the collision.
But in scenes you truly couldn’t write, it was actually Richards who came off worse as Vidic found himself laughing mere moments having gotten back to his feet. Be sure to check out the carnage down below:
Video: Richards kung-fu kicks Vidic and comes off second best
It’s official then: Vidic really is a man of steel.
Vidic was hard as nails
Even when you watch the replays, it’s hard to work out how on earth it was Richards who ended up bundled on the grass for so long because you get to see his knee essentially landing right in Vidic’s face.
Nevertheless, give or take a few seconds to collect himself and a cheeky complaint to Howard Webb, Vidic was back up on his feet and living his best life again just seconds later.
And when you watch back moments like that, it’s hard not to hold your hands up and admit that Vidic was an entirely different animal when it comes to centre-backs of the Premier League era.
You know you’re facing an immovable object when you kung-fu kick it and still somehow come off second best. They don’t make defenders like Vidic anymore.
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