Block off the path to goal

Whether you’re up against a big bruiser or a speed demon, Inter Milan’s Serbian defender has the answers

“I play in central defence for my team and always get shown up by big, quick strikers. What can I do to stop them?”
Jose Salas, via Twitter

Nemanja Vidic says:
“Eat a pre-match breakfast of eggs, beans and sausages! And if you’re to face a quick striker, just eat some fish! [Laughs]

More after the break

It sounds obvious, but in all seriousness if you’re playing a strong striker you have to be strong too. But the most important thing is to be clever.

You should always try to outsmart an attacker. You might have to use your body to shield them from reaching a ball, or you run across their path to block them and make them change direction.

You also have to realise that you can’t win every ball. Sometimes you have to stand off them, let them win it, then go in for the tackle.

If a striker’s really quick then you may not want to get close to them at all. It’s a matter of judging every situation and it all comes from experience. The more you train, the more you’ll work out the answers.

After a while it becomes instinct:  you can smell danger sometimes; feel it before you can see it. You also have to understand your body – you need to learn what you can and can’t do, and be realistic.”

Nemanja Vidic wears PUMA PowerCat boots

For more football tips see:
Rio Ferdinand's Ultimate Defender
Sylvain Distin: Dominate your opponent
Franco Baresi: How to defend like a master
Chris Smalling: How to be the complete defender
Nemanja Vidic: Tackle any threat
Rio: The thinking man's guide to defending
Ashley Cole: How to handle every opponent

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