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Exclusive: The Nemanja Vidic Interview

Nemanja VidicThe pain of Manchester United’s comprehensive Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in May triggered a summer of upheaval at Old Trafford with star turns Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez seeking pastures new – but despite those defections the Premier League champions are still rightly among the leading fancies to land this season’s European crown.

During preparations for their opening Group B clash away to Turkish champions Besiktas, Red Rants caught up with United’s colossal defender Nemanja Vidic (arguably one of Ferguson’s best buys in the last 4 years) to find out what he makes of the new-look United and the prospects of Sir Alex Ferguson’s outfit reaching a third successive Champions League final…

Did your Champions League triumph in 2008 help to ease the pain of defeat to Barcelona in Rome?

Winning the Champions League in Moscow has made it easier for us to accept in a way because we know that we have already done it before. However, the desire to win the trophy again never wanes. I can assure you that everyone at Manchester United will be very unhappy if we fail to win the competition this season. The same goes for any competition we enter.

So Manchester United still has the highest expectations despite the rebuilding process that has gone on within the squad since the final in Rome?

Our expectations have not gone down at all because of the rebuilding. Our goals are exactly the same – to win the Premier League and to win the Champions League. We genuinely believe our fans will have many reasons to be happy this season and it is our intention to make that happen.

How are the players feeling as you prepare for the European campaign?

Well, none of us at Manchester United are thinking about last season’s final defeat to Barcelona anymore. It is time to look forward and I myself am fully concentrated on the new season that lies ahead. I’m only thinking about how we can become the best team in Europe once again and I believe that is something we are more than capable of achieving in 2010.

Do you have any predictions for the 2009/10 Champions League?

It’s too early for predictions because the final stages are so far away and the Champions League proper hasn’t even begun yet. However, generally I would agree with the experts that it’s between Real, Barcelona and the Premier League quartet. The Premier League is the best league in the world, so it’s logical that all the English clubs will have good odds of winning the competition while Barca are reigning champions and Real have quickly built a great team. There’s also always a surprise team in the Champions League every season too, so we really should be very careful with our predictions!

Losing Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez must have been felt strongly in the Manchester United dressing room. How much will you miss them?

It is true that we will miss Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez for their goals. We cannot deny that. However, this United squad really has enormous potential because we have so many talented youngsters, who are improving all the time. The club will continue to aspire to all the biggest goals no matter who leaves us. We can still win all the trophies on offer this season.

Luis Antonio Valencia is under pressure to fill the gap left by Ronaldo. Is he capable of doing that?

No one at Old Trafford expects Luis to take on Ronaldo’s role in the team but he has many qualities of his own that will help us. I believe he will become an important member of our team over the coming season.

And what impact can Michael Owen have in a Manchester United shirt?

Michael has proven his quality through the years so I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be successful. He can help us a lot, so we are all very happy to have him in our team. He is an important signing for the club. Manchester United has always had fantastic forwards and certainly we have such a situation in the current team as well. No matter who plays, I’m sure we will be lethal in front of goal. I believe Valencia and Owen will make our team better this season. They are very good players who will help us improve.

What is it like having to mark Michael Owen in training?

As a defender I can say with some certainty that it is really tough to mark Owen. He’s dangerous from all positions so you always need to be focused and on your toes. I’m sure our fans will soon realize that as well and see the best of him. I am pleased to be on his team.

Of all the strikers you have faced in the Champions League which have been the best?

It’s tough to pick out one name when it comes to Europe’s best strikers but if I could pick three I’d select Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. These guys are at the top of their game.

vidic-2Many people have begun to compare you with Jaap Stam. How does that feel?

I’m not bothering myself with comparisons between myself and Jaap Stam but it’s nice to hear such things. It feels good being compared to a player of such high calibre. He was a giant at United and a player I have a lot of respect for but I’ll try to make my own mark.

How do you find living in England?

Well, I’m not an English boy! However, I have grown accustomed to the lifestyle and I’m enjoying myself in Manchester. I always try to give the best. Winning three major titles in one season is not something that would happen every day and last season we won the league again. Everything can turn around overnight, so it’s really important that you always think only about the next match.

How do you spend your spare-time?

I really don’t have much free time in Manchester. On few rare occasions the club gives us two days free and we usually spend that time with our families. More or less I spend all my free time with my family. Sometimes people come to visit me, but that’s about it. I try to live a decent life. I don’t go to extravagant places and I don’t expose myself too much. My life is really very normal: training-restaurant-home!

Do you think Manchester United have any defensive issues to sort out this season?

No. The United defence is as hard as a rock. We have played together for a few years now and are a tight-knit unit. The manager demands total concentration and a fighting approach. All the players know their duties. Ferdinand, Brown, Neville and O’Shea are all seasoned professionals who know what it’s all about. We won’t win all the time, but we will always give our all.

On paper it has been argued that Manchester United look weaker this year. Will you prove them wrong?

Perhaps on paper we are weaker this season but on the pitch it is a different matter. Together, we have the determination and ability to prove to everyone that we can still accomplish all our goals this season. The season is very long and we know what it means to be a Manchester United player. Everyone gives their all against us. But that’s no problem for us. We are paid loads of money to win and that is what we intend to do.

We thank Nemanja Vidic for his time but before we end this, we’ll leave you with a compilation video of the man from Serbia…

140 Comments

140 Comments

  1. Traverse

    September 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    @Darth Red Diablo: David May, twice.

  2. Darth Red Diablo

    September 10, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    @Grognard: And me?

  3. Footy4Eddy

    September 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    @Grognard: Im doing alright now. Truth is my biggest problem was my mother having a nervous breakdown, went so far that she started asking me who I was, whether I was really her son. Creeped me out to be honest, and it got involved with other problems including football, partying, frienship, school and such. Got a much needed lift on Tuesday, when I cleared off the line in the last minute to make my team win the game 2-1. I didnt feel myself being tired until after the game, so much I was set off by what happen in the weekend… But I cleared off the line and won us the game, gave myself a confidence booster there and then. My mom is doing alright now as well, saying what happend was because she had some massive stress and questions buliding up insde her, you see she just lost her job. Being a lone parent for a 16 year old boy with the life that I have is difficult enough, losing your job and buliding up anxieties within just makes it worse… 🙁

    Ive been thinking about my life a lot the last few days, trying not to listen to too many advices from people who end their sentances with “…Its your life, you know best”. 🙄 Like I didnt know that. So Ive thought alot about it, and gotback to my usual self again! 😀 Tunnel vision, as you call it. 😉 One step at a time, only thinking about the next challenge. So I hope to be back, but Im gonna go on some trials the next few weeks so I may be away of this blog a few times. But Im not gonna leave this place for good! 😉

  4. NicoQB

    September 10, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    @Red Ranter: I’m kinda disappointed that you didn’t ask questions about
    1. The Chuck Norris/Nemnja Vidic running jokes
    2. the fact whether players themselves read unofficial fan-blogs like this one!
    :mrgreen:

  5. NicoQB

    September 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    @Footy4Eddy: Live strong!

    I don’t know if you do it, but an occasional “I love you mom!” can do wonders. 😳 🙂

  6. Footy4Eddy

    September 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    @NicoQB: My mother means more to me than anything, so I guess Ive said it at least a few times… 😳 😆

  7. Ivor

    September 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    What about his wife, RR? A good job otherwise!

  8. NicoQB

    September 10, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    @Footy4Eddy: Good boy. 🙂

  9. Grognard

    September 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    @Darth Red Diablo: What about you? 😕

  10. onemanunited.wordpress.com

    September 10, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    VIDIC IS THE BEST DEFENDER IN THe WORLD!!! If lescott is worth 24 mill imagine how much hes worth….

  11. owen

    September 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Vidic ic priceless….

  12. NicoQB

    September 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Sssssshhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

    😐

  13. Footy4Eddy

    September 10, 2009 at 10:02 pm

  14. Grognard

    September 10, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I was watching Red Cafe on MUTV and it was interesting when the Vidic leaving question came up, good old Paddy Crerand started laughing hard and basically said he talked to Vidic and Nemanja said he is very happy in Manchester and has no plans to leave. Now that’s what I like to hear. Problem is, I have learned not to trust the modern day footballer from abroad.

    On a side note, I wasn’t aware until today that Hayley McQueen the host of Red Cafe is the daughter of Gordon McQueen, one of my all time faves. And she is a striking babe to boot. Way to go Gordy. 😀

  15. NicoQB

    September 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    @Footy4Eddy: What, did you get official EA endorsement? 😯

  16. [OPTI]Madschester United

    September 10, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Let’s just have: Vidic-Ferdinand-Vidic-Vidic, Nani, Carrick (att), Fletcher (def), Valencia, Rooney, Berba.
    Maybe use Anderson and Owen as subs.

    Can’t wait to watch the game.

    After the United game, I am off to the Big House for the Michigan- Notre Dame game

  17. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 12:22 am

    @Red Ranter: Very nice scoop RR, be great if you could follow up with more interviews. Perhaps someone like Evra would open up a little more though!
    They all seem to be drilled at what to say and what not to say. It so rare to hear them actually say anything close to what’s on their mind. Of course, Paul Gascoine was an exception here!! 🙂

  18. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 12:25 am

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Yep I think it’s gonna be a great game too.
    Both teams like to attack and neither has a dominant MF, so lots of end to end stuff.

  19. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 12:32 am

    @Grognard: He said it because it’s what you wanted to hear!! 😆 😆

    It’s good that they talk to the pundits, but could they possible just become something slightly more lively than a freaking Zombie! 🙄

  20. Traverse

    September 11, 2009 at 12:34 am

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: needs more Vidic….

  21. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 12:35 am

    @onemanunited.wordpress.com: My god, man. If the Gaziers would ever read something like that, he’ll be gone by christmas!! 😆 😆

  22. Darth Red Diablo

    September 11, 2009 at 12:40 am

    @Grognard: My three favourite players would be…..
    1. Wayne Rooney
    2. Owen Hargreaves
    3. Paul Scholes

  23. Traverse

    September 11, 2009 at 12:41 am

    @Grognard: How else do you think she got the job, it’s sure as hell not for presenting skills!

  24. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 12:44 am

    @Traverse: Aah, but women like her, have what it takes! 😆

  25. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Capello indicates what to do, after banning WAGS from the WC finals http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/09_02/FabioCapello_482x449.jpg 😆 😆 😆

  26. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 2:24 am

    @NicoQB: New Order rules.

  27. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 2:26 am

    @Redrich: They are all trained seals and even worse, the muppets on MUTV are just as bad as they will never ever go down a risky path in questioning. I may not like the London media for all their United bashing but at least they ask the really important questions.

  28. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 2:28 am

    @Traverse: No but she could present herself to me anytime. Jeez, I never thought I’d ever fantasize about shagging Gordon McQueen’s daughter. She truly is shagalicious, yeah baby! 😆

  29. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 2:30 am

    @Redrich: Gotta love the Cabbage Man. No nonsense and no parties. Good for him. How will they survive the month without parties, dressing like girls (I still can’t get that Rio image with the tank top out of my head) and shagging their energy away?

  30. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 2:33 am

    @Grognard: I hate to say it mate, but you and I are too old, and too poor for the likes of these babes.
    Fun to dream, though!! 🙂 🙂

  31. Redrich

    September 11, 2009 at 2:41 am

    @Grognard: That’s right mate, these transvestite tendencies will not win you a WC! 😆 😆

  32. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 5:16 am

    @Redrich: So true but one thing I have learned mate is that no matter how old you are, never lose the ability to dream and have delusions of grandeur. It gives you hope and it keeps the heart beating longer. 😀

  33. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 5:23 am

    @Redrich: I’m always reminded of something I remember reading about the 1974 World Cup and the evenings just before the final between West Germany and Holland. The Dutch were apparently allowed to have the wives and girlfriends stay those nights with the players and they supposedly partied hard and into the wee hours of the morning of the final. The Germans on the other hand were banned from seeing their wives for the last few days and although they were pissed off and even threatened to walk, they survived it and went on to twin the game because they had more energy, focus and that little extra on the day. The Dutch pool parties and orgies just took too much out of the Clockwork Orange who up to that moment were the class of the tournament and who looked unstoppable. It’s another case where the military and strict discipline of the Germans won out against thew free spirited hippy culture of the Netherlands. Capello and Italy always took the WC very seriously and limited their parties and so he knows exactly what he is doing. It’s going to be killer on party animals like Rio, Terry, Wassa Lennon etc. 😀

  34. [OPTI]Madschester United

    September 11, 2009 at 5:56 am

    @Traverse: you’re right. Can’t we use vidic as DMF? He would scare palacios back to south america.

  35. Aymen

    September 11, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Here’s a joke for you all. Why do young Italian players join youth academies? To pray to God to be noticed by an English club 😆

  36. Onkar

    September 11, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Hi.. There are stories regd Akinfeev some news daily in UK….
    I know there might not be any substance in this story but, just wanted to know how is this goal???
    I mean I have not seen him a lot.. So just wanted is he good enough to be in Man UTD….

  37. Karl

    September 11, 2009 at 7:19 am

    @Red Ranter: Very impressed. Well done. I think the questions were fine. This is the first time you’re interviewing for RedRants. We wouldn’t want it to be the last by alienating the interviewees. But, perhaps next time, throw in a hard-core question – maybe warn him before the time.
    Well done.

  38. Karl

    September 11, 2009 at 7:36 am

    @Grognard: I lost my interest in MUTV during the Ronaldo debacle when twice in a row, the presenter said “This question is too negative so I’m not going to read it out”. What happened to objectivity? The entire incident showed me that not even they know anything and are just speculating and giving opinions like the rest of the world.

  39. Karl

    September 11, 2009 at 7:40 am

    @Footy4Eddy: Welcome back. Glad to ‘see’ you’re in a much better mood.

    Please promise me one thing. When you go on trials and get into United, please get Fergie to come read this blog? I have a few on-line questions for him 🙂 (Even if you play against United, just whisper it in his ear at half-time.)

  40. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

    @Onkar: He’s an excellent keeper but he doesn’t speak a word of English. Ferguson has always said he demands his keepers be able to communicate to defenders so I wouldn’t take this rumor seriously at all. Besides, Akinfeev is good. Fergie of late only like poor keepers.

  41. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 8:53 am

    @Karl: Watching a couple of their programs yesterday I found a lot of the same BS I face here. They just don’t like it when somebody calls in and is all negative and even they used the term doom and gloom. It’s like you are not allowed to question the Ferguson and Glazer regime whatsoever. I found the pablum barely palatable and would rather clip my toenails than listen to Paddy Crerand go on and on about patience and faith in the manager. Nauseating stuff really.

  42. Grognard

    September 11, 2009 at 8:55 am

    @Karl: That’s right Karl, I also want Fergie to show up and then after Karl is finished with him, I want an hour locked up in a room with him where I can guarantee he will be Grognified. 👿 😈 😀

  43. Moscow Delight

    September 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

    wow!!! 😀

    how on earth u met him and took a long interview? Well done lad!

  44. Jay Jay

    September 11, 2009 at 10:29 am

    @tom: why would you want Berba to do the running for others (Mildfielders)? i mean that should just show you how weak our midfield is, if we expect the strikers to do the running which is meant to be done by the midfielders.

    If you are hungry because of lack of money, don’t blame it on the shortage of food. In anycase when goals are not going in the strikers are slated, so when teams are over powering us in the middle, blame it on the midfield not the strikers “who are lazy”.

  45. Beachryan

    September 11, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Apparently Hargreaves is expected to be playing in our last 3 CL group games, and it came down to a choice between him, De Laet and Tosic – which obviously the curly-haired one won. I’m a bit dissapointed, thought he might feature before that – then again if he hasn’t played any football before the 23rd of September, maybe that’s about right. Fingers and toes crossed for him to stay healthy, wonderful player when fit.

  46. Traverse

    September 11, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I’ve got everything crossed for a full recovery. I’m well aware that it might not happen, but I live in hope, because he is a midfield monster.

  47. Jay Jay

    September 11, 2009 at 10:51 am

    @Grognard: in supplement she’s shaggedelic.
    Man United is a religion, look at Crerand, Irwin, Macari and by the way Irwin’s daughter is also there.

  48. spizzy

    September 11, 2009 at 10:51 am

    It’s the day before the game, here’s where my gloom and doom ends and i become a blind believer :mrgreen:.I have all week from sunday to spell doom but for now, We are the best and Yes, tomorrow we will absolutely demolish spurs :grin:.Can’t wait to see our back four show utter class and keep spurs out, I predict foster to have a clean sheet,fingers crossed 😛 , our midfield will silence all their detractors and will play like they has never done before, and ronnie and berba will each get a brace 😀 😀 😀 .

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