Vidic: Parkhead atmosphere one of the toughest

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has named Celtic Park as one of the toughest places to play in the Champions League, as the Bhoys prepare to take on Italian champions Juventus there in the last 16 on Tuesday evening.

The runaway Scottish league leaders have lost just two of their last 23 Champions League home games, with Neil Lennon's men having already beaten Barcelona at Parkhead in the group phase of this season's competition.

Celtic have defeated the Old Lady on each of their two previous European Cup encounters in Glasgow, triumphing 1-0 in 1981 and 4-3 in 2001 when current manager Lennon was part of the Bhoys' team, although on both occasions the Scottish side failed to progress.

Vidic has also failed to taste victory in his two trips north of the border, with Sir Alex Ferguson's outfit needing a late Ryan Giggs equaliser to spare them from defeat in 2008, after an 81st-minute Shunsuke Nakamara free-kick had sunk them two years earlier.

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, the 31-year-old Serbian centre-back believes Parkhead is among the most intimidating venues he has played in during his career along with visits to Turkey, with United having travelled to Galatasaray, Bursaspor and Besiktas in recent years.

"I think in terms of the fans and the noise, the Turkish games [are the toughest places to go]. They always have good fans, passionate fans singing all game. I find it a nice place to go, a nice atmosphere. But it is a tough place to go.

"Celtic as well, a game which I played a few games ago. I will never forget that atmosphere. A lot of tough places, there are many tough places I have been with Manchester United."

European nights continue to get the best out of Celtic's passionate supporters, with Lennon labelling it one of the best atmopsheres in world football ahead of the clash with Juventus.

Vidic believes that the opportunity to take on the best teams from across the continent is a challenge that the fans relish just as much as the players.

"I think it is because you are playing against the best teams from the countries, the winners of the leagues. And going to different countries and playing games. The preparation for the game, and the highlights you have from this game, are a challenge.

"Playing the best team from Spain, Italy, England, Germany, the different cultures, the fans look forward to the games and so do the players." 

Read an exclusive interview with Nemanja Vidic in the March 2013 issue of FourFourTwo, out now, which goes inside Europe's hottest club, Borussia Dortmund, catches Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in conversation and stands on the terraces with Edgar Davids' Barmy Army for Barnet's basement battle. Subscribe or sign up for the digital edition

Nemanja Vidic wears PUMA PowerCat boots, available at