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.
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.
Video: Richards kung-fu kicks Vidic and comes off second best