Nemanja Vidic & Sunday Times
The Sunday Times caught up with former Man United defender Nemanja Vidic this weekend.
Now 36, Vidic was forced to retire due to chronic injuries.
A former Man United captain, who then went on to play for Inter Milan, Vidic retired at just 34.
He played for United for eight years, helping the club to win five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup.
Sir Alex & Champions League final
One of the first stories Vidic told was the 2008 Champions League final.
According to the Serb, he wasn’t in great shape to take part in the game. But Sir Alex Ferguson made sure he was involved:
In the 2008 Champions League final, “I played injured. Fergie said, ‘Are you ready to play?’ I said, ‘Mmm, I feel a bit . . . ’ He said, ‘You’re playing.’
“‘OK. I’m not sure if I can do it . . .’”
Man United beat Chelsea on penalties in the final in Russia.
Vidic trolls Arsene Wenger
Vidic waxed lyrical over Man United legend Sir Alex Ferguson. He called the Scot a “role model”, and he discussed how Fergie gave the players belief that they could do anything.
And then he contrasted the United boss to Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger. Vidic feels the Gunners boss has a different approach:
Not all managers inspire in that way — there are low numbers of Arsène Wenger’s former players in coaching.
“I don’t know about Wenger,” says Vidic, “but Fergie, he loved characters. He encouraged players to be leaders. On the pitch, he gave responsibility. He didn’t tell players, ‘Always do what I say’. He helped them be the best option of themselves. And that’s why you leave Fergie and like the idea of coaching, because you want to help players, a player, be the best possible ‘him’.”