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Nemanja Vidic Bears An Unlikely Grudge Against Rickie Lambert

Nemanja Vidic Bears An Unlikely Grudge Against Rickie Lambert
By Gavin Cooney
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Rickie Lambert's story is usually told as illustrative of the dreamier aspects of football: how a Scouse lad can go from working in a beetroot factory to playing in red on a European night at Anfield, via a few England caps and a hugely successful rise through the divisions with Southampton.

Lambert retired at the beginning of this month, an announcement greeted with fondness and good wishes from fans and former teammates.

One man who certainly did not jump on this bandwagon, however, is one Nemanja Vidic. It is rare we hear from Vidic these days since he was forced to retire in January of 2016, but he has granted an interview to The Sunday Times' Jonathan Northcroft. Vidic is doing his coaching badges, and sat down with Northcroft at the FA's base at St. George's Park to talk about his career, and what the future might hold.

It's enjoyable, and is available behind the paper's paywall here.


A discussion of the opponents Vidic faced in his career meanders on to Lambert. (During this, he is slightly grudging in his praise of long-time nemesis Fernando Torres, who he says is "top, don't get me wrong, he'd score a goal from nowhere but he's not someone who is going to bully you or trick you with the ball", rating Drogba, Suarez, and Aguero higher).

Vidic praises the honesty of the English game, which brings him on to Lambert. In his final United game in 2014, Vidic's face was less shimmering with blood following a clash with Lambert, who Vidic believes deliberately set out to hurt him.

I didn't know many dirty players, maybe just this guy from Southampton, he also played for Liverpool. Yes, him [Rickie Lambert, when asked by interviewer].

I get elbow from him. How did I handle it? You don't handle it. He became very small for me then. I'm sad for him actually, in my career I can't think of any other player who wanted to hurt me.

The full piece is well worth a whirl.

[Sunday Times


See Also: Banned Everton Fan Was "Too Concentrated On Screaming Abuse At The Players For Being Shit"


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