Manchester United have put together a number of brilliant squads, oozing with quality throughout their long history.
With the likes of Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy and Beckham taking up space amongst the famed attackers to have worn the Red for United, there is a perhaps unanimous recognition accorded to Nemanja Vidic by fans and pundits in the best defender conversation.
The Serbian played a central role in United’s latest successes under Sir Alex Ferguson between 2005 and 2013.
Vidic was the pivotal figure in United’s defence, often called a “no-nonsense centre-back” during his time at the club. The Serbian went on to win 5 Premier League trophies, 3 League Cups, 5 Community Shields, 1 Club World Cup and 1 UEFA Champions League title in his tenure at Old Trafford.
Vidic also accumulated individual accolades for his performances by bagging two PL Player of the Season awards (2008-09 and 2010-11) and appearances in both the FIFPro World 11 (2009, 2011) and PFA Team of the Year (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11).
When asked about Vidic’s relationship with the game, SAF once famously remarked, “how many centre-halves can you name who actually like defending? Vidic liked it. He loved the challenge of sticking his head in there. You could tell that the thrill of contesting those 50-50 balls animated him.”
It looks like even after his retirement, the Serbian has maintained a strong connection with football as he has hinted at trying a hand at management.
This week, Athletic journalist Andy Mitten took to Twitter to shed light on his meeting with the ex-United captain who gave enough evidence that he is considering the shift from player to manager.
Mitten recounted that Vidic spoke at length about his knowledge of tactics, systems etc. and even shared a picture of Vidic using a restaurant plate with beans used as players to explain a 4-3-3 system.
In Belgrade. Met a man who reckoned he played for Red Star. Remember anything about him? He’s a tactical obsessive (done all coaching badges, now doing a masters degree for footballers) explaining different systems using Serbian beans for players. pic.twitter.com/2fe69gR03G— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) March 31, 2022
Having already procured his coaching badges as per Mitten, Vidic is now enrolled in a 20-month master’s programme with UEFA, called the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (MIP).
It is a master’s programme designed for former professional footballers who want to transition into football management.
United’s official website announced that Vidic had started the programme back in November last year, where they delved into the value it could bring to ex-players such as their own Serbian.
“It (MIP) should be perfect for those wishing to explore a career in administration and, as it is staged in various cities across the world, the experience gained will be unrivalled. The first session of the UEFA MIP course is currently being held in Nyon, Switzerland. It will run until the summer of 2023. Vidic is not the only former Premier League player on the course, with Demba Ba, Vedran Corluka, Nigel De Jong, Aaron Mokoena and Paul Scharner also on the list of those taking part.”
United fans would be happy to see the club keeping a track of one of their greatest players and would be wishing Vidic luck as he is set to complete the programme soon.
With his recent confirmation about his keenness to pursue football perhaps in the near future, he could make a return to Old Trafford, in an administrative role.