Nemanja Vidić

Nemanja Vidić
Nemanja Vidić
Немања Видић
IronMan2 (329073129).jpg
Personal information
Full name Nemanja Vidić
Date of birth 21 October 1981 (1981-10-21) (age 30)
Place of birth Titovo Užice, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[1][2]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current club Manchester United
Number 15
Youth career
1989–1994 Jedinstvo Putevi
1994–1996 Sloboda Užice
1996–2000 Red Star Belgrade
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2004 Red Star Belgrade 67 (12)
2000–2001 Spartak Subotica (loan) 27 (6)
2004–2006 Spartak Moscow 39 (4)
2006– Manchester United 162 (14)
National team
2002–2011 Serbia 56 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:06, 14 August 2011 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:22, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Nemanja Vidić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Видић, Serbian pronunciation: [ně̞maɲa v̞ǐːditɕ] ; born 21 October 1981) is a Serbian footballer who captains English Premier League club Manchester United. He was part of the Serbia national football team from 2002 to 2011.[3]

After establishing himself at Red Star Belgrade during the early 2000s, Vidić moved to Spartak Moscow in the summer of 2004. He further increased his reputation when he was part of the "Famous Four" Serbian national team defence that conceded just one goal during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. He would later sign for Man United for around £7m in January 2006 before establishing a prominent defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand the following season and earning a reputation for his no-nonsense defending.

He has collected a host of honours in his United career including 3 consecutive Premier League titles (4 titles in total), the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Club Cup, three League Cup medals, as well as being included in three consecutive PFA Team of the Year sides from 2007 to 2009. In the 2008–09 season, he helped United to a record-breaking run of 14 consecutive clean sheets and was awarded the Barclays Player of the Season. He also collected both the club's Fans' and Players' Player of the Year awards. At the start of the 2010–11 season Vidić was selected as the new team captain of Manchester United.[4] He collected his second Barclays Player of the Season in 2010-11.[5]


Club career

Early years

Nemanja Vidić was born to Dragoljub, a now-retired copper factory worker, and Zora, a bank clerk. Vidić took up football at six years of age, alongside his older brother Dušan, with local side Jedinstvo Putevi. He progressed quickly, and moved to Sloboda Užice at the age of 12.[6][7] The Balkan conflict broke out during his early teenage years, during which his family lived under constant fear of being bombed.[8]

Red Star and Spartak Moscow

Two and a half years after signing for Sloboda Užice, before his 15th birthday, Red Star Belgrade signed Vidić to their youth system. He avoided being conscripted into the Serbian Army to fight in the Kosovo War because he was a full-time sportsman.[8] He started his senior career on a season-long loan deal at Spartak Subotica in 2000. He moved back to Red Star Belgrade after the loan deal ended, playing regularly in the top-flight Yugoslav League with coach Zoran Filipović. He won the 2001–02 Yugoslav Cup with Red Star.[9] Vidić quickly gained the captain's armband, and during his three years as captain, he scored 12 goals in 67 matches, and ended his Red Star Belgrade career on a high note by leading the club to a domestic double. He won the 2004 Serbia and Montenegro League and Serbia and Montenegro Cup trophies with Red Star Belgrade, and in July 2004, he joined Russian Premier League side Spartak Moscow. The details of the transfer were not revealed although it was reported that Vidić became the most expensive defender in the history of the Russian Premier League.[10]

Manchester United

After playing two seasons at Spartak Moscow, Vidić signed for Manchester United for a fee of around £7 million on 25 December 2005,[11] and joined the club on 5 January 2006 after his work permit was granted.[12] This was two and a half years after Manchester United's reported interest in him.[13] On this occasion, United beat out stiff competition for Vidić's signature as his transfer to ACF Fiorentina had already been agreed with the club's sporting director Pantaleo Corvino. Since Fiorentina had to wait in order to complete the signing due to not having any free non-EU spots on its roster at the moment, United stepped in and got Vidić in the meantime.[14] He was assigned the number 15 shirt and on 25 January 2006 he made his debut for Manchester United as a substitute for Ruud van Nistelrooy in the dying minutes of a 2–1 win in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn Rovers.[15] On 16 February 2006, Vidić won his first trophy with United, coming on in the 83rd minute for Wes Brown in the 2006 Carling Cup final win against Wigan Athletic.[16]

During the 2006–07 Premier league season, Vidić formed a partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence, which has since become one of the most prominent partnerships in European football, and has become an established first team player.[17] In his first full season playing for Manchester United, he made 25 appearances in the Premier League and ended the season winning his first league medal.[18][19]

Vidić scored his first ever goal for Manchester United on 14 October 2006 against Wigan Athletic; United won 3–1.[20] He scored his second goal in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 4 November, his first goal at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.[21] He scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United against Benfica on 6 December in the group stages, a match which Manchester United won 3–1.[22]

On 8 November 2007, Vidić signed a five-year contract extension, keeping him at Manchester United until 2012.[23] At the end of the 2007–08 season, he earned his second consecutive Premier League medal.[24] He was also a part of the squad which won the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final versus Chelsea[25]—his first European medal. During United's 2007–08 season, he made 32 league appearances and scored one goal.[26]

During the 2008–09 season, Vidić has been a pivotal part of the United defence in the absence of a number of other defenders during various parts of the season. He started every match in the British Football League-record run of 14 consecutive clean sheets in Premier League matches.[27][28] Towards the end of the 2008–09 season, Vidić was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, along with another four Manchester United players; he was considered the favourite to receive the accolade that was later awarded to his team-mate Ryan Giggs.[29] Vidić was later named as the Manchester United fans' player of the year and players' player of the year, taking over from Cristiano Ronaldo, who won both awards in 2007–08.[30] During the Carling Cup final Vidic had to play at right back when he replaced John O'Shea

Praised for his aggressive no-nonsense defensive style by his Manchester United teammates, he is highly regarded for bravery.[31][32] Because of this, he enjoys a cult status among United faithful[33][34] and is often compared to former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce for having similar characteristics.

On 25 October 2009, Vidić was again sent off against Liverpool in a 2–0 defeat, marking the third consecutive game against their fiercest rivals in which he had been shown a red card. However, on 21 March 2010 he managed to play a full 90 minutes in a 2–1 win against Liverpool at Old Trafford and again on 19 September 2010, this time a 3–2 victory.[35]

On 23 July 2010, it was reported that Vidić had extended his contract with Manchester United by agreeing to a new long-term contract, ending long-running speculation of a move to Real Madrid.[36] The new four-year contract was signed on 20 August.[37] Vidić scored his first goal of the season on 11 September away to Everton to put his side 2–1 up, the game ending with a dramatic finish with the final score 3–3.[38] After captaining Manchester United for the first five matches of the 2010–11 season, Sir Alex Ferguson later confirmed that Vidić had taken over from Gary Neville as team and club captain on a permanent basis. On 30 October, Vidić scored his first home goal of the season in a 2–0 league win against Tottenham Hotspur,[39] his goal was the 1000th to be scored at Old Trafford in the Premier League. On 13 November 2010 Vidić scored his third goal of the season in a 2–2 away draw against Aston Villa in the 85th minute to grab United a point from a 2–0 deficit.[40] On 1 February, Vidić scored against Aston Villa at Old Trafford with a powerful drive inside the penalty area, and United won 3–1.[41] On 1 March 2011, Vidić was sent off in stoppage time in an intense match against Chelsea for a foul on Ramires. Chelsea won 2–1.[42] Vidic got his revenge on 8 May 2011 when he scored against Chelsea to end their title aspirations in a 2–1 victory and propelled United toward a record breaking 19th Premier league title, a feat which was completed the following week at Blackburn Rovers.

In August 2011, Vidic started the season opening game, the 2011 FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. However Vidic was taken off at half time along with partner Rio Ferdinand as United trailed 2-0 to Manchester City. In the second half, United turned the game around and won 3-2. Vidic went on to lift the Shield as the captain, claiming his fourth Community Shield medal of his career. A week later Vidic started in Manchester United's opening Premier League fixture of the season at West Bromwich Albion, but was taken off during the second half with a calf injury. After the match it was initially thought that Vidic would only miss a couple of weeks, however a further diagnosis found the injury to be worse than first feared sidelining him for five weeks. He missed the wins against Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea and the 1-1 draw against Stoke City FC.[43] He also missed the first two UEFA Champions League games of the season against Benfica and FC Basel, both ending in draws. After additionally missing the 2-0 home win against Norwich City FC on 1 October 2011, Sir Alex Ferguson indicated that he hoped Vidić would be back for the match against Liverpool FC at Anfield on 15 October 2011. He did not make the match at Anfield, but returned in the following game in the UEFA Champions League against FC Oțelul Galați. United won the game 2-0, however Vidić was sent off midway through the second half for a high challenge, in what was arguably a harsh decision.[44] After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson said he could see why the referee gave the decision and that the club would not appeal, meaning Vidic now serves a European suspension.[45]

International career

Vidić on international duty in November 2010

A Yugoslavian youth international, he made his senior debut on 12 October 2002 against Italy in UEFA Euro 2004 qualification.[6][46] Vidić was part of Serbia-Montenegro's "Famous Four" defence,[47] alongside Mladen Krstajić, Ivica Dragutinović and Goran Gavrančić, that conceded just one goal during the ten 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, setting a new record for the fewest goals conceded. Vidić played a major part in the last qualification game, against Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which Serbia-Montenegro won 1–0 and secured qualification, Vidić was given the red card five minutes before the end.[6] Vidić missed out on Serbia-Montenegro's opening group stage match against the Netherlands through suspension from his previous red card,[48] and on 12 June 2006 he injured his left knee ligaments during training and he did not play any games at the 2006 World Cup.[49] After the 2006 World Cup, Vidić went on to represent the national team, now independent as the Serbian national team. He was a regular during 2010 World Cup qualifying when fit and was instrumental as Serbia finished top of their group ahead of the likes of France and Romania with the best defensive record. Serbia had less luck at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and came in last place in Group D. On the 24 October 2011, Vidić announced his retirement from international football due to negative comments by Serbian public and media about his recent performances.[50][51]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 15 August 2005 Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine  Poland 3–2 3–2 Valeri Lobanovsky Cup
2 15 November 2006 Stadium Crvena Zvezda, Beograd, Serbia  Norway 1–0 1–1 Friendly

Career statistics


Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Red Star Belgrade 2000–01 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Spartak Subotica (loan) 2000–01 27 6 0 0 0 0 27 6
Red Star Belgrade 2001–02 22 2 5 0 2 0 29 2
2002–03 25 5 4 1 6 0 35 6
2003–04 20 5 5 0 6 3 31 8
Total 67 12 14 1 14 3 95 16
Spartak Moscow 2004 12 2 1 0 0 0 13 2
2005 27 2 1 0 0 0 28 2
Total 39 4 2 0 0 0 41 4
Manchester United 2005–06 11 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
2006–07 25 3 5 0 0 0 8 1 0 0 38 4
2007–08 32 1 3 0 0 0 9 0 1 0 45 1
2008–09 34 4 4 0 4 0 9 1 4 2 55 7
2009–10 24 1 0 0 2 0 7 0 0 0 33 1
2010–11 35 5 2 0 0 0 9 0 1 0 47 5
2011–12 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 0
Total 162 14 16 0 8 0 43 2 7 2 236 18
Career total 295 36 32 1 8 0 57 5 7 2 399 44

Statistics accurate as of match played 18 October 2011[52]


As of 10 August 2011
Serbia national team
Year Apps Goals
2002 3 0
2003 3 0
2004 3 0
2005 9 1
2006 4 1
2007 5 0
2008 9 0
2009 8 0
2010 9 0
2011 2 0
Total 55 2



Red Star Belgrade
Manchester United


Individual honours

Vidić won Serbia's "Overseas Player of the Year" award for 2005, playing for Spartak Moscow, a poll of the captains of the 16 clubs in the Serbian Superliga that is organized annually by daily newspaper Večernje Novosti. He was once again the recipient of the award in 2007, 2008 and 2010, playing for Manchester United.[53][54][55] The executive committee of the Serbian Football Association named him Player of the year for 2005 and 2008.[56][57][58] He was named in the 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, and 2010–11 PFA Premier League Team of the Season.[59][60][61] In addition, he was shortlisted for the 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09 UEFA European Club Defender of the Year[62][63][64] and was also shortlisted for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 FIFPro World XI player award[65][66] and also for the 2008 and 2009 Ballon d'Or award.[67][68] Vidić was named Premier League Player of the Month for January 2009.[69] He was also named Barclays Player of the Season for 2008–09 and 2010–11,[70] and's Barclays Premier League Player of the Season and Defender of the Season for 2010-11.[71]

Personal life

On 17 July 2006, Vidić married Ana Ivanović, an economics student at the University of Belgrade (no relation to the Serbian tennis star of the same name). Together, they have two sons named Luka and Stefan.[72][73]


  1. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup


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External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
England Gary Neville
Manchester United captain
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nikola Žigić
Nikola Žigić
Serbian Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by
Nikola Žigić
Miloš Krasić

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