Rio Ferdinand welcomes former defensive partner to retirement with heartfelt message 3 years ago

Rio Ferdinand welcomes former defensive partner to retirement with heartfelt message

Patrice Evra is now the only man from arguably Manchester United's greatest ever back four who is still plying his trade.

Rio Ferdinand hung up his boots last summer, four years after Gary Neville.

And Nemanja Vidic joined the retirement party on Friday afternoon by revealing to Manchester United's website that he had decided to call time on his career after parting ways with Inter a few weeks ago.

Manchester United v Inter Milan - UEFA Champions League

Many United fans maintain that Vidic and Ferdinand formed the club's greatest ever central defence partnership and it would be hard to deny that.

Vidic arrived at Old Trafford a decade ago and, almost instantly, struck up a connection with the former England international.

So all eyes were on Ferdinand in the hours after Vidic's announcement as we eagerly awaited the manner that Ferdinand would pay tribute to Vidic's legacy.

And it didn't disappoint with a lengthy, and touching, Facebook post in which Ferdinand gushed with praise on how well Vidic adapted to the English game.

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 comitted himself to physically and mentally is truly huge.

You have to remember he was playing against great strikers (Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie, Saha, Wayne Rooney) in training everyday, a big step up from the players in the Russian league. But in a dressing room its a cold world where judgements are passed quickly without remorse - and Vida was judged! Vida is a deep thinker, he was then he is the questioning himself from all angles would have been frying his head the first few months at the club while struggling in training.

He worked on his strength in the gym, worked out what was needed for him to succeed in the Premier League and then started to establish himself in our team.

Im 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 & 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 ive 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. Because he was soo good in the aggressive/attackimg the ball areas people probably looked over his ability with the ball to his annoyance!

As a freind he is made of the top stuff, always honest & thoughtful but also game for a laugh (when he is ready)!

Manchester United miss him now & so will football.

What a player.....what a guy....

Welcome to retirement bro!