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Didier Drogba and Nemanja Vidic are two great players to have graced the Premier League, and the duo left their respective clubs to be recognised as legends by the time they were done.
Manchester United and Chelsea dominated the Premier League over a period of seven years with Vidic arriving in 2006, and Drogba and Vidic were on top of their game for so long.
The duo had a number of physical battles over the years, and Vidic admitted things went over the board in the Champions League final in Moscow in 2008 as Drogba was given a red card in that game.
Drogba was shown red for slapping Vidic in that final in Moscow, and United won the game in penalty shootout, with John Terry slipping off in our fifth kick that could have given Chelsea the title.
Speaking to The Athletic, Vidic recalled the incident as he said: “Drogba wanted to punch me during the game. At first I was thinking: ‘What is he doing?’ Then I went towards him. I was stupid, so was he. He was sent off.”
Vidic has looked back at his time facing a striker like Drogba and the Manchester United legend has admitted that Drogba was difficult to play against.
Vidic continued: “I saw him again in Moscow 10 years later during the World Cup. We shook hands and said hello. I respect him as a footballer and man.
“We pushed each other as players. United and Chelsea were the best two teams in the world — and not just for one year. We reached three Champions League finals in four years. That’s not easy.”
On Drogba’s strengths, he added: “He was a very clever player who would get into the brain of the defenders. He was strong, but he was always thinking ahead.
“He would think, ‘If the defender pushes me now I will go down” or “Next time I will go strong’. He used his strength well; he was really good in the box at Stamford Bridge, a close, tight stadium. Drogba was on you for the full game.
“Drogba would be even better if he didn’t get so many injuries. He was always around the box and very difficult to stop from scoring. He scored so many important goals, he was very consistent. I played against him when we were both at the peak of our careers.”