Vidic rules out World Cup thoughts

The Manchester United defender was expected to be one of the stars

at Germany 2006 but ended up missing the entire competition after

suffering a knee ligament injury before the tournament began. Now

Vidic has the chance to make amends after Serbia qualified and

ended up in a tough group with Germany, Ghana and Australia. Given

his experience last time around, the 28-year-old could be forgiven

for taking things slightly tentatively in order to ensure his

presence in South Africa. But that is just not Vidic’s style. “I am

not thinking that far ahead,” said the former Spartak Moscow star.

“Sometimes when you do that you can cause yourself an injury, so

the best way is just try to play the next game and then the one

after that, and so on. “There is still so much time to the World

Cup so for now I am concentrating on the big matches I have with

Manchester United.” Not that Vidic ignored the World Cup draw

itself earlier this month. He recalls how Serbia ended up in the

so-called “Group of Death” with Argentina, Holland and the Ivory

Coast four years ago. It is hardly much better now, although Vidic

does feel his country is in good shape to progress, providing they

emerge with a positive result in their opening game against Ghana

in Pretoria on June 13. “It is very important to start well,” he

said. “We had a problem with injuries last time and were in a

difficult group to start with and it just didn’t go well.

“Obviously it is not easy this time either but I don’t think we

should complain about that. “We have some players who are at good

teams in Europe and we still have a chance to reach the next

round.” For now though, Vidic must concentrate all his energies on

Tuesday night’s Premier League encounter with Wolves at Old

Trafford. Having missed out on the chance to draw level with

leaders Chelsea when they lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, United

must not fail again. New BBC Sports Personality of the Year Ryan

Giggs is doubtful with a hamstring injury but fellow veteran Paul

Scholes should be involved after missing out at the weekend.

Despite reaching 36 and 35 respectively, Giggs and Scholes are

going to be offered new contracts by Sir Alex Ferguson, a move

Vidic wholeheartedly endorses. “They are part of the team and they

are playing well,” reflected the defender. “They are still scoring

goals as well, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t get new

contracts if they want one.”