Rio names unexpected striker as toughest opponent at Man Utd

Date published: Wednesday 29th April 2020 11:06 - Joe Williams

Rio Ferdinand Man Utd Liverpool

Former Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand has named ex-Bolton striker Kevin Davies as the toughest opponent during his career.

Ferdinand‘s former centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic used to struggle in his battles with ex-Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, coming off worse on a number of occasions.

Discussing the difficulties Vidic had playing against Torres, Ferdinand picked out Davies as a less obvious choice as his toughest opponent.

MAILBOX: Why would Man United need more midfielders?

“First of all, it’s the best partnership ever in Premier League history,” former Man Utd defender Ferdinand told The Beautiful Game podcast. “Trust me.

“Listen, strikers were playing out on the wings some times because they didn’t want to come up against us, it was mad!

“There’s always going to be that one player in your career who’s difficult. He might not be the best player on the planet, but his style is made to hurt your style. And Torres might have just been that for Nemanja.

“He’s someone he found difficult to play against. And he’s probably the only player I’ve seen consistently give Vida a hard time, and he got sent off in a couple of the games didn’t he, early on in the games.


“But listen, Torres was a great player and when he was in his pomp when he was at Liverpool, he was one of the best strikers about. He was a devastating striker.

“But with me one-v-one, he didn’t cause me any problems if I’m honest. That’s just the way it is.

“One of my hardest strikers to play against when people ask me – other than the ones that are obvious, like Ronaldo and Messi – was Kevin Davies. You would never expect that.

“But he was always tough to play against for me, always caused me the most problems. He always was physical, just obstructing you all the time.

“The ball might be over there [away from you] but he’s grabbing you and all this stuff. So you would never expect that, but Torres would have been that for Nemanja probably. But we never really spoke about it.

“It’s mad, our relationship, we spent a lot of time with each other after training, in and around the training ground just chatting about loads of stuff, but it wasn’t about our relationship on the pitch.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Vida you know when you go tight with Suarez, I’m going to be behind covering’. It was nothing like that. We never spoke like that at all.

“But our relationship was like there was something in the air that I knew he was going to go there, and if he went there I would go here. If I went here, he was there.

“Partnerships in the game are not necessarily built just on the training pitch, sometimes you’re just blessed that someone comes into your life at that time and it’s come together just like that. And that’s what we had.”


We could not keep away from the camera for long so we made a Football365 Isolation Show. Watch it, subscribe and share until we get back in the studio/pub and produce something a little slicker…

More Related Articles