Nemanja Vidic established himself as one of the most important pieces to this past year’s success. He was the easy choice the Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Year Awards last season, and he would have gotten my vote if anyone cared what I had to say. His dominance in the center of defense in all aspects of the game, aerial, tactical, physical, has helped create one of the most formidable back lines in all of Europe.
This type of attention, of course, will only draw the inevitable transfer bids, and I’m sure that the bids from Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, etc., were all legitmate, persistent, and very lucrative. How did Vidic respond to these forms of flattery and temptation? He went straight to Ferguson and told him exactly what was happening. Loyalty. This speaks highly of his character as a man, not just a player. Now I am the first one to be skeptical of any professional athelte’s motives, lifestyle, personal life, and ambition. But how could you not see this as anything but loyalty?
How did Ferguson respond? With the same type of respect. Vidic was quoted as saying:
“I got offers from Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid and I played a very honest game — I disclosed all these offers to my boss Sir Alex [Ferguson]. He reacted quickly. I was told he was raising my pay to bring it to the level where my reputation is in the Premier League and Europe.”
It was an easy decision for Sir Alex to make, but it was because of Vidic’s disclosure he was able to react quickly and decisively. He immediately raised his weekly salary from £20,000 a week to £70,000. Vidic’s response to this recipication of respect, “”After Milan and Real Madrid made their offers, Barcelona came in — they wanted to pay £30m for my services but after Sir Alex’s move, I am definitely staying in Manchester until my contract expires in 2012.”
Much respect, Vidic.