Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has praised his defensive partner Rio Ferdinand, criticising those who believe he is past his best.
Ferdinand has been in and out of the United team this year, while Fabio Capello has also left him out of his most recent England squad.
However, Vidic believes that the 33-year-old’s performance against Sunderland showed everyone that he is back to his best.
The Serbia international said: “When you look at what has happened to Rio over the last few weeks, we have to remember this is a player who played in most of the big games last season, helped us win the Premier League title and reach the Champions League final, and yet after one game people are saying he is not good enough anymore.”
“I think this is wrong and Rio showed that [against Sunderland]. Sometimes when you have been at the top a long time like Rio has, people judge you on your age and they are waiting for one bad game to say: ‘Oh, he’s finished.”
“But the way Rio played was the perfect way to show he is not finished. He showed strength of character.”
“He showed he still has the quality and ability to play at the top level. He showed class, he showed determination, as well as his ability to help the players around him.”
Manchester United needed their defenders to be on top form after all, as they only managed one goal themselves.
Ironically, this came from former United defender Wes Brown who turned the ball into his own net for the only goal of the game.
Manchester City then secured three points of their own, meaning that United still sit five points behind them in the title race.
At the moment, most sporting tips are suggesting that City will hold onto this lead too, so United need to keep winning games if they are to stay in touch.
They have a couple of weeks break now though for the international fixtures.
Speaking about the international break, England v Spain is an interesting one to put your betting money on!