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Courageous, self-sacrificing, and fearless. During his eight years playing for Manchester United, Nemanja Vidic has always fought like a warrior to protect his pride.

There is a rumor that Nemanja Vidic once volunteered to join the army. That is the story that Sir Alex Ferguson revealed in his memoir when the two teachers and students talked about the political situation related to tensions between Serbia and Kosovo.

“Vidic is steadfast and uncompromising, a Serbian man full of dignity. In 2009, he came to me and said he might join the army. ‘What do you mean?’, I said. ‘Kosovo, sir. I will be on my way. That is my duty,’ he replied,” the content of Sir Alex’s memoir reads.

However, in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, Nemanja Vidic confirmed that the story that he wanted to join the army was incorrect and was just a misunderstanding by Sir Alex.

“Fergie talked about that in his book. He and I walked to the training ground, and he asked me about what was happening in Serbia. Maybe he saw that I was quite angry, so he understood it that way. But the truth is that I have never talked about returning to my country to join the army,” Vidic expressed.

Sir Alex misunderstood his student’s story. However, witnessing Vida’s performances in a Manchester United shirt, many people will have to admit that he is nothing less than a fierce warrior on the field. Courageous, self-sacrificing, and fearless. During his eight years with Manchester United, Nemanja Vidic always fought like a soldier to protect his pride.

In life, there will always be unexpected turning points that can change the fate of anything. In 2005, Vidic almost joined Fiorentina when he reached a personal agreement with La Viola’s Sports Director, Pantaleo Corvino. Corvino even gave the Serbian midfielder a bag as a congratulatory gift after reaching an agreement with Spartak Moscow.

However, at that time, the Florence team lacked a non-EU place in the team, so they could not complete the recruitment of Vidic. And at that moment, Sir Alex Ferguson appeared and snatched Vidic in Fiorentina’s bewilderment.

What if Vidic could then join Fiorentina? That will forever be an unanswered question. Only history is something we can confirm: He made the right choice when joining the Old Trafford team.

As captain of Red Star Belgrade in his early twenties, it can be seen how early Vida’s bravery and talent were recognized. However, that man still had a difficult first few days of integration at Manchester United. Paul Scholes said that when the Serbian midfielder first became part of the “Red Devils”, he was not as strong a player as people knew. Instead, at that time, Vidic was skinny, somewhat clumsy, and easily lost in duels.

Vidic realized that. He threw himself into training so much that Scholes said, “Every time I passed the gym, I saw Nemanja lifting weights.” Vidic understands that wearing the Manchester United shirt is an honor but also a responsibility. You have to work hard to find a way to earn your position because no one will take it for granted. And so Vidic became a giant guardian in the “Red Devils” defense, ready to suppress anyone who threatened his team’s goal.

With powerful headers, rolling tackles, and even pain, the Serbian warrior remains fearless. Fans of the “Red Devils” certainly cannot forget the way he rushed to head the ball right in front of Emmanuel Adebayor’s shoe. You might see him as a crazy person to recklessly do that, but Vidic doesn’t mind, because the important thing he sees is that this is necessary for the goal to be preserved. Blood also fell on Vidic’s face, but for him, there was nothing wrong with that if the defense could stand firm. Vidic is like a steel warrior forged from fire.

Just like that, Vidic became a hero on his team. With Rio Ferdinand, he created the top center-back pair in Premier League history. Ferdinand represented water while Vidic provided fire. They created an outstanding partnership which became pivotal during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final days at Manchester United.

Ryan Giggs wrote on Nemanja Vidic’s departure day from Manchester United that this match will serve as an opportunity for Old Trafford fans to bid farewell. People may recall Jaap Stam and Rio Ferdinand when I say this, but Nemanja Vidic has been an outstanding performer at United throughout his time here and has experienced unparalleled success here.”

Nemanja Vidic found great success during his eight-year run at Manchester United. In contrast, around the time of the Serbian center-back, the Red Devils had a solid steel shield. Then the shadow he left behind is still there, making fans sometimes remember and wish for a mighty warrior Vida, exactly like that, to cover the goal at Old Trafford.

By Richard Maxwell

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