Date:Thursday February 18 2010
OK, I know the number one law: you should never take footballers' comments in the press too seriously. But there was no unambiguity, no uncertainty over Vidic's answer to recent speculation about his departure.
'I have never had a conflict of any kind with Sir Alex Ferguson and rife speculation that I want to leave United is completely untrue,' Vidic told a Serbian newspaper.
'I have a contract until the summer of 2012 and I have every intention of seeing it through to the very last day.
'United have made me the player I am today and there is no substance whatsoever in rumours that I have been looking for a move away to either Real Madrid or AC Milan.'
His agent has made similar claims recently so the question is: do we believe them? If we do, then another question arises: why is he still out of the team?
'I can't wait to get back on the pitch and although I've had a long layoff, I feel strong and fit again,' he said.
'I think I will return to action very quickly and hopefully I will be back to my best as soon as I am picked in the starting line-up again.
'We got a great result at Milan but we have to raise our game for the return leg and I am sure we can.'
So what is it with these last-minute withdrawals (Leeds, Arsenal, Milan), what's with the 'does not feel ready to play' thing? Is it actually possible that Vidic, having won everything there is to win with United bar the FA Cup, is now more focused on being fully fit for the World Cup, unwilling to jeopardise his chances?
If that is the case it does not reflect well on Nemanja's commitment to the cause, particularly if we consider Rooney's effort even though he is even encouraged by half of England to tone down his performances a bit, not to risk fatigue for the World Cup. Rooney's big dream is lifting the World Cup in the England shirt but that does not stop him from putting in superhuman effort in every United game. If Vidic is thinking more about the World Cup than about United, perhaps he should take a long, hard look at himself and at his team-mate.
Date:Thursday February 18 2010
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