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Nemanja Vidic: Serbia star player at World Cup 2010
20/11/2009  by Telegraph.co.uk
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Crucial: Nemanja Vidic's dominating presence in defence meant Serbia conceded just one goal in their entire qualifying campaign

Caps: 44
Goals: 2
World Cup appearances: None
World Cup 2010 qualification: 8 appearances/0 goals

Club: Manchester United
Age: 28
Position: Defender

He may not be enjoying his best season at Old Trafford, but on any day, Serbia's Nemanja Vidic is a formidable opponent. Shaven-headed and with eyes of pure granite, Vidic manages the feat of looking both bigger and more athletic than he actually is.

He began his career with Red Star Belgrade at the age of 14, leading them to the domestic league and cup double in 2004 before moving to Spartak Moscow.

In January 2006 he signed for Manchester United for a fee of £7 million, and immediately set about forging a defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that has yielded three league titles and a Champions League.

Vidic is no longer an unsung hero in United’s recent success, pipping Cristiano Ronaldo to the club’s Player of the Year award last season. He is also the lynchpin of a Serbian team that gained automatic qualification for next summer’s World Cup ahead of France and conceded just one goal in qualifying for the 2006 tournament, a joint record.

He has been below his best this season, hampered by injury and suspension, but then again, none of his defensive colleagues have exactly covered themselves in glory either.

Now he just has to hope he avoids Fernando Torres in next month’s draw.

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