NEMANJA VIDIC

Born: Oct. 21, 1981 in Uzice, Yugoslavia

Position: Defender

Nickname: Vida

Clubs played for: Vidic signed with Red Star Belgrade as a teenager but made his pro debut with Spartak Subotica while on a loan deal. He returned to Red Star and helped the Serbian powerhouse with the title and league cup, earning a transfer move to Russian side Spartak Moscow in 2004. Russia proved to be just a stopover - he signed with Manchester United a year later, and since then he has formed a formidable defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand, the duo have helped the Reds three Premiership crowns and the 2008 Champions League title.

International career: Vidic made his national team debut in 2002 and was part of the Serbian and Montenegrin national team that qualified for the 2006 World Cup, but a knee injury prevented him from playing in the tournament. He decided to play for the Serbian national team after the separation of Serbia and Montenegro.

Why is he so special? Vidic is feared for his ruthless style of play. His intimidating physique and aggressive temperament have helped the Serb win the respect of legion of United fans, and solidify his stature as one of the best defenders in the world.

His most famous moment: Scoring in a 3-1 Manchester United win over Benfica in the Champions League on Dec, 6, 2006.

He said it: "Every g ame is a big battle here in England. I have discovered it is like a boxing match for me. I just have to make sure that I am not the one on the floor in the future."

What they're saying about him: "There is no question he can play, there is not a doubt about it. But he doesn't mess about in terms of clearing the ball. He acts like a defender." - Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager

Here's an interesting fact: Vidic began playing soccer when he was only seven years old with the youth team of hometown club Jedinstvo Uzice.