Nemanja Vidic Picks Out The Best Four Premier League Strikers He Came Up Against
Nemanja Vidic named the four best Premier League strikers he faced in his career but interestingly Fernando Torres does not feature.
The Spaniard famously terrorised Vidic in various meetings between Liverpool and Manchester United but he failed to mention him when discussing those who gave him most difficulty.
Instead, he picked out Torres' former teammate Peter Crouch, Didier Drogba, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez. The Crouch selection might come as a surprise, but coming up against him was a venture into the unknown for Vidic.
"My first experience was Peter Crouch. I'd never seen a two-metres tall player before', Vidic told Andy Mitten from The Athletic.
"He played for Liverpool and we played them in a cup game at Anfield. I was thinking 'Wow, what can I do today with this guy?'
"Then I saw Bellamy next to him, not a great player on the ball but very, very fast. He would run into space, Crouch would jump into the air. I'd never seen football played like this.
"I'd never had a No 9 and a sharp, fast, player next to him. I knew how to deal with them individually but not both of them at the same time. I played alongside Wes Brown, it was a tough game, a long game. We lost 1-0."
On Drogba, who was sent off in the 2008 Champions League final for slapping Vidic, the former Inter Milan centre-back described the Chelsea legend as "very clever player who would get into the brain of the defenders".
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Vidic crossed paths with Aguero in his final years at United and stated that the Argentine was responsible for his worst ever game for the club when he and Alvaro Negredo tormented him in a 4-1 thrashing in 2013.
"I played against Aguero when they beat us 4-1 in the Moyes season," Vidic said.
"He (Aguero) looks like he's not interested in football on the pitch."
"He doesn't look like a guy who will run 10 metres and then - bang - he makes the sprint. I'm convinced that Aguero was born as a defender. He knows where the ball will come and where he can attack."
"That was my worst game for United. I know I'm supposed to choose those two final defeats to and they were horrible to lose. That one in Rome and Wembley was even tougher."
Suarez drew similar praise from Vidic, who found that the Uruguayan never ran out of energy during games.
"Everything is done in bursts," he added.
"I don't think he knows exactly what he's doing but he succeeds. He's very direct and hungry to score. He runs for 90 minutes, he has a fire in him."