Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he didn’t know who defensive partner Nemanja Vidic was and how good a player he was at the time he was signed.
The former United defender recently said in an interview: “Never heard of him. I’ll be totally honest, that was my reaction when I heard that we were signing Nemanja Vidic.
“At the time we had Mikael Silvestre and Wes Brown as our other centre-halves, and Mikael was probably playing a little bit more than Wes.
“I think the manager wanted competition for places, Wes had had a few injuries and Vida was a punt to bring that extra competition.
“I had no idea what to expect from him, no preconceptions. When someone joins the club, you’re quickly sussing them out and forming opinions and, from what I was seeing in his early training sessions, Vida was struggling, especially physically.
“That wasn’t just strength-wise, but breathing, too. The pace of the training sessions, which were such high intensity every day, were just such a shift in what he’d been used to. It wasn’t easy for him.
“It’s very easy to quickly get a bad or a good reputation. People’s judgement comes fast and it can be quite brutal at times. In Vida’s case it was very brutal.
“I remember thinking: He won’t be here long. No chance he’s gonna be here long.”
Both players forged a strong defensive partnership that helped the club win trophies.