Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic tasted victory over Liverpool seven times in his career, but the Serbian revealed to The Sun there were many painful moments against United’s rivals too.
United and Liverpool meet today for a crucial Premier League encounter at Old Trafford, with just two points separating the two sides.
The fixture is known for its feistiness on and off the pitch and Vidic recalled how he was often on the wrong end of the high competitiveness.
SEEING RED Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic says all he can remember about Liverpool derby is red cards
He was dismissed four times against the Reds, most notably for bringing down Steven Gerrard in United’s 4-1 home loss to Liverpool in March 2009 in a game, which also saw the Serbian make a defensive error that allowed Fernando Torres to score.
And when asked about his memories against Liverpool, Vidic joked: “What do I remember about games against Liverpool? Red cards!
“To be fair, I tend to remember more my failures than when things went better. For example I remember the two Champions League finals against Barcelona – that might not be the best way to present myself, but that is what I remember. And the Liverpool games.
“Maybe by remembering that stuff, it pushed me to make sure it never happens again.
“Two of the red cards were in the 89th, 90th minute and THAT one with Gerrard was in the 77th minute – that was very hard to take because it was at Old Trafford. I remember it was a tough time.”
However, Vidic revealed after that fateful game he did not receive a dressing down from manager Sir Alex Ferguson , even though Liverpool was one of the team’s he could not stand losing to.
Vidic added: “Sometimes you see a player and he knows he has made a mistake so what can you say?
“Everybody knows he has made a mistake and the papers the next day are going to say he let the team down. What else is the manager going to add?
“Sir Alex loved to beat Liverpool but I don’t think he had a hate for them.
“Hate is a big word.
“But I remember especially after that 4-1 game he was red when he came in the next day. But because he saw around the ground that everybody was sad, he started making jokes and building us up again.
“He knew there was a big game coming. He knew we were very sad we had lost but if we did not win the next game, we were going to lose the title and Champions League – everything.
“But he was only able to do it for four or five minutes before he had to go out because four or five minutes was as much as he could manage!”
Thankfully for Vidic, there were only a handful of bad days like this for him in his eight-year stay at Old Trafford.
He enjoyed a stellar career for United, where he won five Premier League titles, to name but a few.
But it could have been a lot different for Vidic, who also revealed he was in talks with the Anfield club at one point.
Vidic said: “Rafa Benitez wanted to sign me and we spoke before I joined United.
“We didn’t meet, we just spoke over the phone while I was driving my car in Moscow, with my wife acting as interpreter because my English wasn’t so good.
“I didn’t say no. It was going to happen then Fergie came and said: ’Do you want to play for United?’ I said: ‘yes,’ and after two days everything was done.
“He’d watched me a year earlier playing in a back three for Red Star and wasn’t 100% sure I’d work out with four at the back. But one year later, with Liverpool speaking to me, he was sure!”
The United legend went on to add that he felt Manchester United v Liverpool is still the biggest game in the Premier League, despite the emergence of Manchester City in recent seasons.
Vidic said: “Manchester City and United is a big game at the moment, but Liverpool and Manchester United is THE biggest game in the Premier League.
“The amount of titles both Liverpool and United have won – you can never lose respect for that.
“What City have been doing in the last couple of years, and the players they have at the moment, makes that game more interesting. But it is still Liverpool and United for me.
“For the first one or two years I did not really understand it. I knew it was a big derby and we used to watch if from Serbia.
“But then I learned on top of the football you have the rivalry between the cities themselves, which goes back to the Ship Canal. I read about how it all started, how for years the rivalry built up and up between the two cities and then the two clubs."