Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand recalls how he and Wayne Rooney thought Sir Alex Ferguson had “messed up” by signing Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic.
Evra played 379 times for the Red Devils while Vidic racked up 300 appearances, with the duo winning 29 major honours between them in their time at Old Trafford.
Speaking to the Filthy @ Five podcast, Ferdinand said: “I remember after one session, me and Wazza were walking around. He said ‘Who the f**k is this guy?’. He was terrible. Vidic and (Patrice) Evra signed in the same window and he (Rooney) was going: ‘The manager has f**ked it, he’s messed up, I don’t know what’s going on with the recruitment’.”
Ferdinand has already spoken to Vidic this year on his Five YouTube channel with the former Serbia international admitting that his first training session with the Man Utd first team was a “nightmare” for a number of reasons.
Vidic said: “I had come from Russia and in December you have the month off, no training, it is too cold.
“I said to the gaffer and Carlos Queiroz that I needed a pre-season, I was not fit and I couldn’t play. I remember the first training session playing against Giggsy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Saha, Rooney… wow, seriously. That was a nightmare.
“I was kicking them all training not because I wanted to but because I couldn’t catch them. They were too fast. I was arguing with Giggsy after three trainings – he was starting to be angry. ‘Pass the ball, you have to play faster!’ I was like (laughing), ‘man, come on! I can’t move!’.
“I joined with Patrice. The first six months was really tough. I played a game for the reserves, Rene Meulensteen was coach and he took us off at half-time! But Patrice had been playing for Monaco and in a Champions League semi-final. I came from Spartak Moscow and nobody knew who I was.”
To which Ferdinand replied: “I remember me and Wazza were talking about you and Patrice and we thought ‘wow, these guys have a long way to go. They are struggling, they are off the pace’. But what I didn’t consider is what he just said.
“No pre-season for one but he was playing against Louis Saha, probably the hardest player in training, Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggsy who at that time was flying. They were struggling and you could see it. You thought ‘these guys better get up to speed’.”