Victor Lindelof

Which Brazilian stalwart inspired Victor Lindelof?

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has named ex-Benfica centre-back Luisao as the footballer he has learned the most from during his career.

The Swede turned out for The Eagles between 2013 and 2017 and shared a dressing room with the Brazilian stopper, who is seen as something of a club legend at the Estadio da Luz.

Luisao, who retired in 2018 after 15 years with the Portuguese giants, is Benfica’s longest-serving captain and no player – not even the great Eusebio – claimed more major trophies (20) with the Lisbon club.

While Luisao is his primary inspiration, Lindelof also name-checked two familiar names to Reds fans when running through those he modelled his game on.

“When great players like [Rio] Ferdinand and [Nemanja] Vidic play, you can really look at how they approach the game and what kind of decisions they,” said Victor.

“There’s been a lot of great players that I’ve been able to watch growing up and at Benfica as well.

“I had the pleasure to play alongside Luisao, who’s a club legend there and played quite a lot of times for the Brazil national team.

“For me, when I was 20 or 21, to play alongside him was very important. He’s been very important from me in my career as a defender, because I learned a lot from him.

“If I had to pick one, I think I would say Luisao. I learned a lot from him when I was at Benfica.”

Luisao and Juan Mata in 2017
Luisao became a familiar opponent for United in the Champions League. Here he is challenging Juan Mata in 2017.

Lindelof marked three years since joining the Reds on Sunday, and the Swede is enjoying another solid season as first-choice centre-back, alongside summer signing and new skipper Harry Maguire.

The pair have played a major part in United keeping 21 clean sheets in all competitions this season, and Lindelof feels his ‘Iceman’ nickname fits well with how he sees his role in the United team.

“I think I’m a calm player out on the pitch. I’ve heard people say cool, calm and collected,” the 25-year-old added.

“I’m not sure but I think that describes me quite well out on the pitch, so I think I’ll have to go with that!”

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