Rio Ferdinand And Nemanja Vidic Were Named Premier League's Greatest Defensive Duo
Rio Ferdinand may have missed out on title of 'Best Premier League Defender Ever' but on his birthday we remember that he was voted as part of the best defensive partnership in the league's history.
In a vote in September, Ferdinand beat Sol Campbell in a semi-final but then lost out to teammate Nemanja Vidic in their semi-final.
The Serbian went on to win the whole vote and in joining Ferdinand they were voted as the best partnership in Premier League history back in February, beating the pairings of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, Kolo Toure and Sol Campbell and Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher.
Who is the greatest Premier League centre back partnership of all time?- SPORTbible (@sportbible) February 1, 2019
What Manchester United fans wouldn't have done for a pairing the like of those two for the past few years.
Ferdinand joined United from rivals Leeds United in the summer of 2002, after impressing at the World Cup for England in Japan and South Korea, for £30 million.
He had already established himself at Old Trafford and won one league title when he was joined by Vidic in Manchester in January 2006, with the Serbian costing just £7 million, in what turned out to be one the bargains of the Premier League era.
Together they won five league titles each at the heart of United's defence, three League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Vidic played 300 times for the club whilst Ferdinand made 455 appearances for them, before both men left at the end of the 2013/14 season.
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Whilst the pair of both best remembered for their victories with United, Ferdinand recently spoke about one of their biggest losses, the 2011 Champions League final loss to Barcelona.
Speaking about the game on BT Sport last weekend Rio explained what the game plan had been, saying, "The plan was to really to go and meet them high.
"Meet them, press them high and try and win the ball early and then obviously go for the jugular.
"We done that, to be fair, with the goal we scored, but in the main we didn't have the ball in the midfield area.
"This area is key in big games, you need to dominate that area and then you've got a good chance of winning it. And they outnumbered us."
Rio also explained he didn't agree with the tactics and spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson before the match, adding, "I didn't agree (with the tactics). I voiced my opinion, but at the same time you're confident in a man like Sir Alex Ferguson.
"Pressing them is different, it's gonna be hard. They'd done us in Rome (in the 2009 final), and they'd probably got three in that area - Messi, Xavi and Busquets (Ferdinand later clarifies he meant Andres Iniesta) - three of probably the top six players in the world in that time.
"So three of the top six players in the world in that area, and they were playing against two players (Carrick and Giggs) in there."