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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 07:35 GMT
Hard-man Vidic to star in England
By Andrew McKenzie

Nemanja Vidic
He is definitely worth the money, it is a good fee for the club
Zoran Panjkovic, Serbian journalist
In Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United have got themselves a mixture of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

That is the verdict of Belgrade journalist Zoran Panjkovic, who has followed Vidic's career since he broke into the Red Star side as a teenager.

"He's a really great defender and it is a very good move for Sir Alex Ferguson," Panjkovic told BBC Sport.

"He is a key member of the Serbia and Montenegro team that conceded only one goal in qualifying for the World Cup."

Serbia's defence has been nicknamed the 'famous four' having gone through the 10 qualifying games with nine clean sheets, topping the group ahead of Spain.

Vidic played a leading role and Panjkovic says his imposing style of play and his knack of scoring goals will suit English football down to the ground.

He added: "Only Raul scored a goal against them and Vidic was the star of that defence.

"He is similar to Rio Ferdinand but maybe with a bit of John Terry's qualities as well.

"He is a very aggressive player and very physical. I think he will be a really special player in English football. And I think he will form a formidable partnership with Ferdinand.

"At every corner he is a danger. His style is always to take up the goalkeeper's ground and he has scored some crucial goals."

United beat off competition from Liverpool and Fiorentina for Vidic, who had made clear his intention to move on.

The 24-year-old Vidic completed his move on Thursday in a 7m switch from Spartak Moscow, where he spent less than two years.

Prior to that he was at Red Star, where he was made captain when he was only 21 until moving on in the summer of 2004.

There were eyebrows raised when he openly criticised the Manchester United defence recently.

He has become a player that almost makes no mistakes
Zoran Panjkovic

But Panjkovic says Vidic is unlikely to give Ferguson any problems at Old Trafford.

"He's very quiet guy and a great professional," he added. "I spoke with him last week in Belgrade and he didn't want to say anything about Manchester United because it was before he signed a contract.

"But the thought of going to Manchester United was a great adventure for him.

"He was very keen on a move to United. Liverpool were also interested as well and he had a strong desire to play in the Premier League.

"He has developed rapidly in Moscow. I have been watching him for the national team and he has improved a lot. He has become a player that almost makes no mistakes.

"Maybe his one weakness is dealing with the ball along the ground. In the air he's brilliant but when the ball is on the floor he can struggle at times.

"He's not so quick but he is a very strong player and a leader."


SEE ALSO
Vidic prospect thrills Ferguson
25 Dec 05 |  Europe


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