Nemanja Vidic said goodbye to Manchester United in the 1-1 draw at Southampton, bowing out after eight years with the club in typical style.
Despite taking an elbow from Saints striker Rickie Lambert in the face just before the home side went ahead on 28 minutes, Vidic carried on following treatment and proceeded to give a performance shot through with all the hallmarks of determination and skill he showed in his time at Old Trafford since his move from Spartak Moscow in 2006.
Playing alongside Rio Ferdinand for the last time in the partnership that did so much to secure five Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League and three League Cups, Vida put his body on the line repeatedly and as skipper helped inspire the side into a much-improved second half display.
Juan Mata’s brilliant free kick drew United level, and while Vida’s 300th and last appearance was not to end in victory, his influence will leave an imprint on the Spain international from the few months he played alongside the Serb.
“I’ve been very lucky to play with him in these last few months,” Mata told MUTV. “I’m proud to have been in the dressing room with him, he was our captain so I wish him the best and hopefully he will be playing for many years to come.”
Darren Fletcher echoed his midfield partner, saying: “Nemanja’s record and what he’s won here is second to none. You’ve seen the response from the fans and I’m sure he’ll be fondly remembered.”
Everyone connected to the club thanks Nemanja for his outstanding service and we wish him all the best for the future.