Nemanja Vidic

This man was one fabulous number five hey? Manchester United legendary former star Nemanja Vidic has named Didier Drogba among the best strikers he’s ever faced.

Vidic made his name as one of the best-ever central defenders in England with five Premier League titles and over 200 games under the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

So who are some of the best strikers he has ever faced? According to the Serbian, Didier Drogba, Peter Crouch, Luis Suarez, and Sergio Aguero make the special list.

“He [Drogba] was a very clever player who would get into the brain of the defenders. He was strong, but he was always thinking ahead,” Vidic told The Athletic of Drogba.

“He would think, ‘If the defender pushes me now I will go down’ or ‘Next time I will go strong’.

“He scored so many important goals, he was very consistent. I played against him when we were both at the peak of our careers.”

About Crouch, Vidic said: “My first experience was Peter Crouch. I’d never seen a two-metres tall player before. He played for Liverpool and we played them in a cup game at Anfield.

“I was thinking ‘Wow, what can I do today with this guy?’ Then I saw Bellamy next to him, not a great player on the ball but very, very fast. He would run into space, Crouch would jump into the air. I’d never seen football played like this.

“I’d never had a No9 and a sharp, fast, player next to him. I knew how to deal with them individually but not both of them at the same time.

“I played alongside Wes Brown, it was a tough game, a long game. We lost 1-0.”

Vidic concluded to explain the challenges of facing Aguero and Suarez.

“I’m convinced that Aguero was born as a defender. He knows where the ball will come and where he can attack,” he stated.

“I played against him when they beat us 4-1 in the Moyes season. (Suarez is) an energetic player. He’s different from Aguero who doesn’t run for 90 minutes – he’s a player who uses instinct. Everything is done in bursts. I don’t think he knows exactly what he’s doing but he succeeds.

“The ball will go through a defender’s legs and people will think it’s an accident, but he has this sheer force to do it,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Suarez is expected to be back in England with Atletico Madrid to face Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League in March.

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