Tuesday, January 25, 2011

25 January 2006 - Veni, Vidi, Vidić

On 25 January 2006, center back Nemanja Vidić made his first appearance for Manchester United, coming on as a late substitute in a 2-1 win over Blackburn in the Carling Cup.

A Serbian international, Vidić started his professional career in 2000 with Red Star Belgrade, who promptly loaned him out to Second Division side Spartak Subotica for his first season. He returned to Belgrade in 2001 and became a regular feature in the league's second-best defense, allowing only 28 goals all season.

For the next two seasons, Vidić and Red Star reduced that number to 26, then 13--both league bests--while winning a league and cup double in 2004. That drew the attention of Manchester United, but Vidić moved instead to Spartak Moscow for two seasons (reportedly, as the most expensive defender in the history of the Russian league, though details of his contract were not made public).

Vidić eventually signed with United in January 2006 for a fee close to £7 million. With United leading Blackburn 2-1 in the second leg of their Carling Cup semifinal (and winning 3-2 on aggregate), Vidić came on in the 86th minute as a defensive replacement for striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

He has since gone on to make almost 150 appearances for United, winning three league titles, three League Cups, and the UEFA Champions League. In August 2010, he became the team captain and has guided them to the top of the league.

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