Nemanja Vidic discusses his time with United and the future, in this interview first published in United Review...
How do you feel about saying goodbye?
Yes, but it shouldn't always be so dramatic. A lot of players leave the club and a lot come here. United will always be the same and will always attract good, big-name players. I don't think it will be any different when the transfer market starts. Last year, Paul Scholes retired. Before that, it was Gary Neville. That's life and yet you still see these players around the club and supporting the club. I will be no different. You can be sad to leave after so many years of playing here but, for me, I'm just glad I was part of this club.
Did you worry initially about the fans' reaction when it was announced you were joining Inter?
The fans have always been supportive – even in bad times for the club and the players. I said that's when you see how good your fans are. You can judge them when things are going well and say how good they are but, when there have been bad times, they have shown their class.
Your attributes seemed to mark you out as a natural captain, yet you were surprised to get the armband. Why?
I had been captain before, of Red Star Belgrade, and vice-captain in the Serbian national team for a long time. It's not something I didn't have in me as I have always been professional in training and a winner; I just felt there were older heads in the squad, such as Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Edwin van der Sar, with more experience. However, I got the armband and the reason was because Sir Alex Ferguson wanted someone who was going to be on the pitch most of the time. I was glad to get that opportunity. It's true as well that there are many leaders in the team as I have mentioned so many times in the past. I was glad to be captain of this club and team and it was easy to be that.
Do you have any words of advice for your replacement as skipper?
I don't think so. How I see the captaincy, especially at this club, is your job is actually to perform on the pitch. Everything off the pitch is sorted because you have many people doing different things – from private stuff to the many coaches, fitness experts, scientists and so on. It means there is not too much room for you to do more. Your job is to be an example on the pitch to the younger generations and also in the way you train and live. The decisions you make are also important as they shape how people judge each other. You are judged on your decisions rather than the words