Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has officially announced his retirement from football after leaving Inter Milan earlier this month through mutual consent.
At just 34-year-old he claims debilitating injuries in recent years, have forced his early retirement including a hernia and back injuries.
The Serbian defender was signed by Alex Ferguson to Old Trafford in 2006 as a 27-year-old for a fee of just £7 million.
During his second season with the Red Devils they won their first league title in four seasons. During his time with Man Utd he yielded five Premier League titles, three League Cups and Sir Alex Ferguson’s holy grail, the Champions League.
Whilst playing for the club both Vidic and Rio Ferdinand formed a defensive partnership, together, the pair were near-impenetrable.
He stayed with Man Utd until July 2014 and then on a free transfer joined Inter Milan, making 28 competitive appearances for the San Siro side, though he failed to feature for Inter this season.
Vidic told the Red Star Belgrade official website: “The time has come for me to hang up my boots. The injuries I have had over the past several years took their toll. I thank all the players I have played with and all the coaches I have worked with. And many thanks to the fans for their support throughout all these years.”
Ferdinand took to his Facebook page on Friday to pay tribute to his friend Vidic
“Vida – my man. ‘Where is he from? He is well out of his depth’… these were the type of comments flying around the training ground after the 1st few training sessions we saw Vida.
‘So to see what an unbelievable force he became while at Man Utd means the work he committed himself to physically and mentally is truly huge.
‘He became a defender that was feared, he could fight with the most physical, he crunched into tackles, he attacked the ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen but as he will tell you with a smile, he could also play with the ball too, which made him complete & a great defender.
“Manchester United miss him now and so will football.”