If you were to ask us for the most random interview we’ve encountered in the world media in recent months, Wednesday’s one put together by Championat in Russia involving both Roman Pavlyuchenko and Tim Cahill would be up there.
The pair were asked a bunch of questions by the website via Zoom, with the pair currently in Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup, which is also where the former Everton star flies to once a month to coach the country’s youth teams.
The topics ranged what they do these days to their past in the Premier League, and both were in agreement over one thing: two of Manchester United’s defenders in the past were the toughest they played against, which is a stark contrast to what is taking place these days under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with neither Harry Maguire nor Victor Lindelöf convincing anywhere near as much.
Cahill started it all of by saying: “I didn’t hate defenders in the Premier League, but respected them. We had powerful duels with Vidic: he’s so big and aggressive, uses his arms, jumps out. Terry and Rio Ferdinand are the same, but somehow the hardest thing for me was against the Brazilian defender of “Chelsea” Alex – that’s who the wall is”.
And Pavlyuchenko followed with: “I would name the same defenders! I played with Vidic at Spartak, then we crossed paths in England – he is one of the best for me, there were no chances with him in the air, it was also difficult on the pitch, because he reads the game, manages both tackles and heading. Ferdinand and Vidic are a pair of assassins”.
Both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have since retired and are pursuing different activities these days, but few would disagree that the Manchester United pair were among the best to have graced the Premier League.
They put up some incredible stats together, helping Sir Alex Ferguson pick up five of his numerous Premier League titles at Old Trafford along the way.