MX23RW : Friday, May 24 04:43:24| >> :600:104587899:104587899:

Rio Ferdinand hails retired former Manchester United teammate Nemanja Vidic

Rio Ferdinand hails his "favourite" centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic after the Serb announced his retirement from football at the age of 34.

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on former Manchester United centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic after the Serb announced his retirement from football.

Vidic called time on his professional career earlier today at the age of 34, saying that injuries had taken their toll in recent years.

His best days came with United when he formed a dominant centre-back partnership with Ferdinand that helped the Red Devils win five Premier League titles, a Champions League and three League Cups during Vidic's eight-year stint.

Ferdinand posted a photo collage with images of himself and Vidic on his Facebook page this afternoon and was full of praise for his former teammate.

He wrote: "I'm always asked about our partnership, did you do specific training etc....Not really no, it was something that just worked very naturally. He was very aggressive, loved attacking the 1st ball in or out of the box, getting right into the opposing strikers and I liked the sweeping up and covering type stuff...but our partnership brought out the best in our games and made us strive harder to be the best.

"My favourite partner to play alongside - YES. 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 and a great defender. Because he was so good in the aggressive/attacking the ball areas people probably looked over his ability with the ball to his annoyance!

"As a friend he is made of the top stuff, always honest and thoughtful but also game for a laugh (when he is ready)! Manchester United miss him now and so will football. What a player.....what a guy....Welcome to retirement bro!"

Vidic made 298 appearances in all competitions for United before leaving to join Inter Milan in summer 2014.


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Manchester United's Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic thanks the fans after the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's stadium in in Southampton on May 11, 2014
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