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Nemanja Vidic is the best defender in the world: First-person fan reaction
Nemanja Vidic is not known for scoring goals. He stops them. Vidic is arguably the best defender in the world of football today. In sports, fans tend to praise scoring. We idolize prolific goal-scorers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. In a ranking of the top 50 players in the 2010 World Cup, no defender was listed until Brazilian Dani Alves at 18th. Two goalkeepers were listed before him. Vidic was listed 19th on that list. But it is his overall defensive abilities that make him the best defender in the world.
In the youth soccer games that I coach, playing defense is sometimes frowned upon. Players want to play offense. They want to score goals. But I tell them that only the best players on the team can play defense. In other words, you can hide a bad player on offense but you can't hide that player on defense. The problem with defense is that there is no glory in it. When defenders play well, nobody notices. When they play poorly, everyone notices. It's a no-win situation.
That's why I admire Vidic. He takes pride in playing defense. He doesn't score many goals or get much glory. But he plays defense like it's the most important role on the field. When he gets beaten on the field, he takes it personally. That's how important defense is to him.
Vidic helped his club team, Manchester United, become the third best defense in the Barclays Premier League. His defense helped United win the Premier League title in 2011. Vidic will lead the United defense when they face FC Barcelona in the 2011 UEFA Champions League title at Wembley Stadium, London, England. Lionel Messi leads the offensive attack for Barcelona. This will be a true test for Vidic and the defense.
Though Vidic is a defender, he does have the ability to score goals. His aerial ability is very valuable on defense, as he can effectively clear high balls out of the area. But this ability is also valuable on offense. His header goal in a key match against Chelsea FC paved the way for the Premier League title in 2011.
So take a look at Nemanja Vidic on Manchester United. Appreciate his defensive prowess and how much pride he has while playing defense. Preventing goals is just as important as scoring them. That's exactly what Vidic loves to do.
Edwin Torres has been coaching youth soccer since 2001. He is currently the head coach of two travel soccer teams in Freehold, NJ. He holds a category "F" license for coaching in the New Jersey State Youth Soccer Association. He was a certified USSF Grade 8 referee in 2004. Edwin is also certified as a Double-Goal coach through the Positive Coaching Alliance.
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