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Why Vidic’s International Retirment’s Good News For United

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Whilst Wayne Rooney has been making the headlines this week after his sending-off in England’s Euro 2012 qualifier away in Montenegro, there was another piece of news relating to a key Manchester United player this week that’s slipped under the radar.

What news could this be? Well it was the announcement made by our club captain Nemanja Vidic after Serbia’s 1-0 defeat to Slovenia that (which knocked them out of a play-off spot for Euro 2012) he was retiring from International football at the age of 29.

I have to admit when first hearing the news that I was surprised due to two reasons:

1) Vidic is Serbia’s captain

2) He’s still in the prime of his career

However when thinking about it, it’s not that much of a suprising decision. After all Vidic will be 30 in a week’s time and has probably made the decision due to wanting to keep his club career going. He would have seen first-hand the difference sacrificing Internationals has made on the longevity of both Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

Scholes of course retired in the summer at the age of 36, whilst Giggs at 37 is still going and who knows he could be playing into next season (which would be something special). Vidic as we know has suffered from injury problems over the last couple of seasons and will no doubt have looked at his long-time defensive partner Rio Ferdinand struggling with injuries and said to himself: ‘I don’t want to be like that in 2-3 years down the line’.

That’s not a knock on Ferdinand who has been a great servant for both United and England, but a sign of that with the demands of club football even greater than before, that more and more players may call it a day at International level between the ages of 29-31 if they see that it’s the best decision to keep their careers going.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling (in our skipper’s absence this season) have looked a good central defensive partnership for United and there’s no doubt that if Vidic were to suffer any more injuries that he could in a couple of years fall behind those two, just like seemingly Ferdinand has currently. 

For Serbia losing Vidic and 33-year old Inter Milan midfielder Dejan Stankovic (who also announced his retirement from International duty after the game) will be a blow, but the nation (as well as the other former-Yugoslavian states) has always been known for producing good technical players and for having a good strong home record.

Both players retiring  now actually gives Serbia’s manager Wladimir Petrovic – or his replacement if the former Yugoslavia International gets the chop for not getting to Euro 2012 – more time to build a team and get younger players experience before the 2014 World Cup qualifiers come along next summer.

Serbia may well have lost Vidic but there’s not one United fan that will be complaining as the old saying comes to mind: ‘what is their loss is very much our gain’.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87