Nemanja Vidić

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Nemanja Vidić
Nemanja Vidić.jpg
Vidić with Manchester United in 2006
Personal information
Full name Nemanja Vidić[1]
Date of birth (1981-10-21) 21 October 1981 (age 32)
Place of birth Titovo Užice, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current club Manchester United
Number 15
Youth career
1989–1994 Jedinstvo Užice
1994–1996 Sloboda Užice
1996–2000 Red Star Belgrade
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2004 Red Star Belgrade 67 (12)
2000–2001 Spartak Subotica (loan) 27 (6)
2004–2006 Spartak Moscow 39 (4)
2006– Manchester United 207 (15)
National team
2002–2011 Serbia 56 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 March 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2011

Nemanja Vidić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Видић, Serbian pronunciation: [ně̞maɲa v̞ǐːdit͡ɕ]; born 21 October 1981) is a Serbian footballer who plays for and captains English club Manchester United. He was part of the Serbian national team from 2002 to 2011.[3]

After establishing himself at Red Star Belgrade during the early 2000s, Vidić moved to Spartak Moscow in the summer of 2004. He further increased his reputation when he was part of the "Famous Four" Serbian national team defence that conceded just one goal during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. He would later sign for Manchester United for around £7 million in January 2006 before establishing a prominent defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand the following season and earning a reputation for defensive consistency and awareness.

Vidić has collected a host of honours in his United career, including three consecutive Premier League titles (five titles in total), the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Club Cup, three League Cup medals, as well as being included in three consecutive (four in total) PFA Team of the Year sides from 2007 to 2009. In the 2008–09 season, he helped United to a record-breaking run of 14 consecutive clean sheets and was awarded the Barclays Player of the Season. He also collected both the club's Fans' and Players' Player of the Year awards. At the start of the 2010–11 season, Vidić was selected as the new team captain of Manchester United.[4] He collected his second Premier League Player of the Season award in 2010–11.[5]

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Nemanja Vidić was born to Dragoljub, a now-retired copper factory worker, and Zora, a bank clerk. Vidić took up football at six years of age, alongside his older brother Dušanko, with local side Jedinstvo Užice. He progressed quickly, and moved to Sloboda Užice at the age of 12.[6][7] The Yugoslav wars broke out during his early teenage years, during which his family lived under constant fear of being bombed.[8]

Red Star and Spartak Moscow[edit]

Two-and-a-half years after signing for Sloboda Užice, before his 15th birthday, Red Star Belgrade signed Vidić to their youth system.[8] He started his senior career on a season-long loan deal at Spartak Subotica in 2000. He moved back to Red Star after the loan deal ended, playing regularly in the top-flight Yugoslav League with coach Zoran Filipović. He won the 2001–02 Yugoslav Cup with Red Star.[9] Vidić quickly gained the captain's armband, and during his three years as captain, he scored 12 goals in 67 matches and ended his Red Star career on a high note by leading the club to a domestic double. He won the 2004 Serbia and Montenegro League and Serbia and Montenegro Cup trophies with Red Star and, in July 2004, he joined Russian Premier League side Spartak Moscow. The details of the transfer were not revealed, although it was reported that Vidić became the most expensive defender in the history of the Russian Premier League.[10]

Manchester United[edit]

2005–06 season[edit]

After playing two seasons for Spartak Moscow, Vidić signed for Manchester United for a fee of around £7 million on 25 December 2005[11] and joined the club on 5 January 2006 after his work permit was granted.[12] This was two-and-a-half years after Manchester United's reported interest in him began.[13] On this occasion, United beat out stiff competition for Vidić's signature, as his transfer to Fiorentina in Italy had already been agreed with the club's Sporting Director, Pantaleo Corvino. Since Fiorentina had to wait in order to complete the signing due to not having any free non-EU spots on its roster at the time, United stepped in and hijacked the transfer.[14] He was assigned the number 15 shirt and on 25 January 2006, he made his debut for United as a substitute for Ruud van Nistelrooy in the dying minutes of a 2–1 win in the League Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn Rovers.[15] On 16 February 2006, Vidić won his first trophy with United, coming on in the 83rd minute for Wes Brown in the 2006 League Cup final win against Wigan Athletic.[16] Vidić received a medal for his appearance in the final, but later gave it to team-mate Giuseppe Rossi in recognition of Rossi's contributions in the earlier rounds of the competition.[17]

2006–07 season[edit]

During the 2006–07 Premier League season, Vidić formed a partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence, which has since become one of the most prominent partnerships in European football, and became an established first team player.[18] In his first full season playing for Manchester United, he made 25 appearances in the Premier League and ended the season winning his first league medal.[19][20]

Vidić scored his first ever goal for United on 14 October 2006 against Wigan Athletic in the team's 1–3 victory.[21] He scored his second goal in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 4 November, his first goal at United's Old Trafford stadium.[22] He scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United against Benfica on 6 December in the Group Stage, a match which United won 3–1.[23]

On 8 November 2007, Vidić signed a five-year contract extension, keeping him at Manchester United until 2012.[24] At the end of the 2007–08 season, he earned his second consecutive Premier League medal.[25] He was also a part of the squad which won the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final against Chelsea,[26] his first European medal. During United's 2007–08 season, he made 32 league appearances and scored one goal.[27]

2008–09 season[edit]

During the 2008–09 season, Vidić was a pivotal part of the United defence in the absence of a number of other defenders during various parts of the season. He started every match in the domestic league, with United going on a record run of 14 consecutive clean sheets in Premier League matches.[28][29] Towards the end of the 2008–09 season, Vidić was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, along with four other United players; he was considered the favourite to receive the accolade that was later awarded to his teammate Ryan Giggs.[30] Vidić was later named as the Manchester United Fans' Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year, succeeding Cristiano Ronaldo, who won both awards in 2007–08.[31] During the League Cup final, Vidić was deployed at right-back when he replaced John O'Shea.

Praised for his aggressive, no-nonsense defensive style by his Manchester United teammates, he is highly regarded for his on-the-pitch bravery.[32][33] Because of this, he enjoys a cult status among United faithful[34][35] and is often compared to former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce for having similar playing characteristics.

2009–10 season[edit]

On 25 October 2009, Vidić was again sent off against Liverpool in a 2–0 defeat, marking the third consecutive game against their fiercest rivals in which he had been shown a red card. On 21 March 2010, however, he managed to play a full 90 minutes in a 2–1 win against Liverpool at Old Trafford and again on 19 September 2010, this time in a 3–2 victory.[36]

2010–11 season[edit]

On 23 July 2010, it was reported that Vidić had extended his contract with Manchester United by agreeing to a new long-term contract, ending long-running speculation of a move to Real Madrid.[37] The new four-year contract was signed on 20 August.[38] Vidić scored his first goal of the season on 11 September away to Everton to put his side 1–2 up, the game ending with a dramatic finish, with the final score 3–3.[39] After captaining Manchester United for the first five matches of the 2010–11 season, manager Sir Alex Ferguson later confirmed that Vidić had taken over from Gary Neville as team and club captain on a permanent basis. On 30 October, Vidić scored his first home goal of the season in a 2–0 league win against Tottenham Hotspur,[40] the 1,000th to be scored at Old Trafford in the Premier League. On 13 November 2010, Vidić scored his third goal of the season in a 2–2 away draw against Aston Villa in the 85th minute to grab United a point from a 2–0 deficit.[41]

On 1 February, Vidić scored against Aston Villa at Old Trafford with a powerful drive inside the penalty area as United won 3–1.[42] On 1 March 2011, Vidić was sent off in stoppage time in an intense match against Chelsea for a foul on Ramires. Chelsea won 2–1.[43] Vidić got his revenge on 8 May, when he scored against Chelsea to end their title aspirations in a 2–1 victory and propelled United toward a record-breaking 19th Premier league title, a feat which was completed the following week at Blackburn Rovers.

2011–12 season[edit]

In August 2011, Vidić started the season opening game, the 2011 FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. He was taken off at half-time, however, along with partner Rio Ferdinand as United trailed 2–0 to Manchester City. In the second half, United turned the game around and won 3–2. Vidić went on to lift the Shield as the captain, claiming his fourth Community Shield medal of his career. A week later, he started in Manchester United's opening Premier League fixture of the season at West Bromwich Albion, but was taken off during the second half with a calf injury. After the match, it was initially thought that Vidić would only miss a couple of weeks. A further diagnosis, however, found the injury to be worse than first feared sidelining him for five weeks. He missed the wins against Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, and the 1–1 draw against Stoke City.[44] He also missed the first two UEFA Champions League games of the season against Benfica and FC Basel, both ending in draws.

After additionally missing the 2–0 home win against Norwich City on 1 October 2011, Sir Alex Ferguson indicated that he hoped Vidić would be back for the match against Liverpool at Anfield on 15 October 2011. He did not make the match at Anfield, but returned in the following game in the Champions League against Oțelul Galați. United won the game 2–0. Vidić, however, was sent off midway through the second half for a high challenge in what was arguably a harsh decision.[45] After the match, Ferguson said he could see why the referee gave the decision and that the club would not appeal, meaning Vidić had to serve a European suspension.[46]

After missing the Manchester Derby the following weekend, which Manchester United heavily lost 6–1 to Manchester City, Vidić played his first full 90 minutes of the season against Aldershot Town in a fourth round League Cup tie, which United won 3–0. He made his return to Premier League action at Goodison Park in a 0–1 win against Everton. In the next four Premier League matches, he played a big part in winning and keeping clean sheets against Sunderland (1–0) at Old Trafford and Swansea City (0–1) at the Liberty Stadium. There was nothing to be done, however, for conceding a goal from a penalty kick caused by a controversial Rio Ferdinand tackle at home against Newcastle United in a 1–1 draw. Nevertheless, the skipper took his side to another clean sheet at Villa Park in a 0–1 win against Aston Villa with Phil Jones scoring the only goal. Alex Ferguson rested Vidić at Old Trafford in a shocking 2–1 League Cup quarter-final defeat against Crystal Palace.

On 7 December 2011, Vidić twisted his knee during United's Champions League clash at Basel and left the field on a stretcher.[47] Ferguson later confirmed that he would miss the rest of the season.[48]

2012–13 season[edit]

Vidić returned to first-team action on 20 August 2012 in a 0–1 away defeat to Everton. On 25 August 2012, in a home game against Fulham, he scored an own goal in the 64th minute. A cross was played into the box from the left-hand side that goalkeeper David de Gea came for and tried to punch, resulting in the Spaniard becoming sandwiched between Vidić and Mladen Petrić; the ball came off his heel and bounced into the goal.

On 25 September 2012, Vidić was ruled out for eight weeks due to another knee injury. He was expected to return for United's game against CFR Cluj in the Champions League on 5 December 2012. He was ruled out of this game, however, and the next Premier League game against Manchester City. He eventually managed to make a return from injury, coming on as a 68th minute substitute for Rio Ferdinand against Sunderland on 15 December. On 13 January 2013, he scored from a Patrice Evra header, which deflected over his head in a home game against Liverpool. Vidić managed to make 22 league appearances for the Red Devils, scoring one goal, as the club won its 20th Premier League title, finishing 11 points over incumbents Manchester City.

2013–14 season[edit]

On 7 February 2014, Vidić announced that he would be leaving Manchester United at the end of the 2013–14 season when his contract expires. Vidic stated: "I'm not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United".[49]

On 16 March, Vidić received his second yellow card and was subsequently red carded on 77 minutes in a 3–0 home defeat against Liverpool.[50] Vidić's expulsion totaled to four red cards against Liverpool during his career at Manchester United, more than any other player against an opponent in the history of the English Premier League.[51]

Internazionale[edit]

On 5 March 2014, Internazionale announced that Vidić will join the Italian side at the end of the 2013–14 season.[52]

International career[edit]

Vidić on international duty in November 2010

A Yugoslavian youth international, Vidić made his senior debut on 12 October 2002 against Italy in UEFA Euro 2004 qualification.[6][53] Vidić was part of Serbia and Montenegro's "Famous Four" defence,[54] alongside Mladen Krstajić, Ivica Dragutinović, and Goran Gavrančić, that conceded just one goal during the ten 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, setting a new record for the fewest goals conceded. Vidić played a major part in the last qualification game, against Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which Serbia and Montenegro won 1–0 and secured qualification; Vidić was given a red card, however, five minutes before the end.[6] Vidić missed out on Serbia and Montenegro's opening group stage match against the Netherlands through suspension from his previous red card,[55] and on 12 June 2006, he injured his left knee ligaments during training and he did not play any games at the 2006 World Cup.[56]

After the World Cup, Vidić went on to represent the national team, now independent as the Serbian national team. He was a regular during 2010 World Cup qualifying when fit and was instrumental as Serbia finished top of their group ahead of the likes of France and Romania with the best defensive record. Serbia had less luck at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and came in last place in Group D. In a match against Germany in the Group Stage of the World Cup, Vidić gave away a penalty in the second half while Serbia were leading 1–0. Luckily, Lukas Podolski's penalty was successfully blocked by goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković. On 11 October 2011, Vidić missed a decisive penalty against Slovenia. On 24 October 2011, Vidić announced his retirement from the Serbian national team because of negative comments from fans about his performances.[3][57]

Personal life[edit]

On 17 July 2006, Vidić married Ana Ivanović (no relation to the Serbian tennis star of the same name), an economics student at the University of Belgrade. Together, they have three sons named Luka, Stefan, and Petar.[58][59]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 9 April 2014[60]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Red Star Belgrade 2000–01 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Spartak Subotica (loan) 2000–01 27 6 0 0 0 0 27 6
Red Star Belgrade 2001–02 22 2 5 0 2 0 29 2
2002–03 25 5 4 1 6 0 35 6
2003–04 20 5 5 0 6 3 31 8
Total 67 12 14 1 14 3 95 16
Spartak Moscow 2004 12 2 1 0 0 0 13 2
2005 27 2 1 0 0 0 28 2
Total 39 4 2 0 0 0 41 4
Manchester United 2005–06 11 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
2006–07 25 3 5 0 0 0 8 1 0 0 38 4
2007–08 32 1 3 0 0 0 9 0 1 0 45 1
2008–09 34 4 4 0 4 0 9 1 2 1 53 6
2009–10 24 1 0 0 2 0 7 0 0 0 33 1
2010–11 35 5 2 0 0 0 9 0 1 0 47 5
2011–12 6 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 10 0
2012–13 19 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 23 1
2013–14 21 0 0 0 2 1 6 1 1 0 30 2
Total 207 15 18 0 11 1 52 3 6 1 294 20
Career total 340 37 34 1 11 1 66 6 6 1 457 46

International[edit]

As of 11 October 2011
Serbia national team
Year Apps Goals
2002 3 0
2003 3 0
2004 3 0
2005 9 1
2006 4 1
2007 5 0
2008 9 0
2009 8 0
2010 9 0
2011 3 0
Total 56 2

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Serbia's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 15 August 2005 Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine  Poland 2–3 2–3 Valeri Lobanovsky Cup
2 15 November 2006 Stadium Crvena Zvezda, Beograd, Serbia  Norway 1–0 1–1 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Red Star Belgrade
Manchester United

Individual[edit]

Individual honours[edit]

Vidić won Serbia's "Overseas Player of the Year" award for 2005, playing for Spartak Moscow, a poll of the captains of the 16 clubs in the Serbian Superliga that is organized annually by daily newspaper Večernje Novosti. He was once again the recipient of the award in 2007, 2008, and 2010, playing for Manchester United.[62][63][64] The executive committee of the Serbian Football Association named him Player of the Year for 2005 and 2008.[65][66][67] He was named in the 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, and 2010–11 PFA Premier League Team of the Season.[68][69][70] In addition, he was shortlisted for the 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09 UEFA European Club Defender of the Year[71][72][73] and was also shortlisted for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 FIFPro World XI player award[74][75] and also for the 2008 and 2009 Ballon d'Or award.[76][77]

Vidić was named Premier League Player of the Month for January 2009.[78] He was also named Barclays Player of the Season for 2008–09 and 2010–11,[79] and espnstar.com's Barclays Premier League Player of the Season and Defender of the Season for 2010-11.[80] In December 2011, FourFourTwo football magazine voted Vidić as their Top 10 defender in 2011.[81]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup

References[edit]

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  32. ^ Champions League – Champions League team of the year by Eurosport
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  34. ^ Report: Everton 0 United 1 by Manutd.com
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  61. ^ "Zvezdina revija". sd-crvenazvezda.net. March 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  62. ^ Žigić the captain's choice by uefa.com
  63. ^ Izabrani najbolji, V. Tomković, Večernje novosti (Serbian)
  64. ^ Vidić i Moreira najbolji, V. Tomković, Večernje novosti (Serbian)
  65. ^ Golden ball for Nemanja by nemanjavidic.com
  66. ^ Одржана седница Извршног одбора ФС Србије by Serbian football association
  67. ^ Fudbaler Nemanja Vidić by sport.novosti.rs
  68. ^ Ronaldo secures PFA awards double by BBC
  69. ^ Ronaldo named player of the year by BBC
  70. ^ Giggs earns prestigious PFA award by BBC
  71. ^ Re-live: Champions League Group Stage Draw by goal.com
  72. ^ UEFA Club Defender of the Year by uefa.com
  73. ^ Club Football Awards nominees named by uefa.com
  74. ^ 55 players shortlisted for FIFPro World XI Player Awards by fifpro.org, on 25 September 2007
  75. ^ 55 players shortlisted for FIFPro World XI Player Awards by fifpro.org on 20 October 2008
  76. ^ Prem stars up for Ballon d'Or by Eurosport on 19 October 2008.
  77. ^ Giggs in running for Euro award by BBC on 18 October 2009.
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  80. ^ http://www.espnstar.com/football/premier-league/news/detail/item624887/Vidic-voted-your-top-BPL-footballer/
  81. ^ http://fourfourtwo.com/lists/thefft100toptendefenders.aspx/

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gary Neville
Manchester United captain
2011–
Succeeded by
Incumbent