Nemanja Vidic is a Manchester United legend that few can forget. The center-back captain, who guided the club to five Premier League titles, three League Cups, five Community Shields and a Champions League triumph, will forever remain amongst the best in the position.
Now retired, the 36-year old Serb has made a startling revelation that won’t be counted among the fonder memories he would have held during his eight years as a Red Devil.
In an interview with The Times, Vidic names the dirtiest player he has ever faced in his long career, and such was the dislike that the striker’s name didn’t immediately grace the lips of the man. He stated: “I didn’t know many dirty players. Maybe just this guy from Southampton, he also played for Liverpool.”
The ‘guy’ was none other than English striker Rickie Lambert. He then went on to reveal the reason for his branding, after he was told the name, of course: “Yes, him. I got an elbow from him. How did I handle it? You don’t ‘handle it’.”
The incident in question occurred back in 2014, when Southampton faced off against United in the closing weeks, and Lambert was notorious for having elbowed Vidic right in the face, which had left the defender a bloodied mess.
Vida continued strongly: “He became very small for me then. I’m sad for him actually, in my career I can’t think of any other player who wanted to hurt me.”
What probably added insult to injury was the fact that Lambert went on to score the equalizer which ensured that Manchester United would commence their next season without European football – a situation that they hadn’t been in for a long, long time.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that Vidic had a healthy and illustrious spell with the English giants, that ensured that top footballers from all across Europe had to go through him if their shot had any chance of seeing the back of the net – a rare sight.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.