Vidic: RVP has forced strikers to raise levels

Robin van Persie's stunning start to life at Manchester United has forced the Red Devils' other strikers to step up their games, according to Nemanja Vidic.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side threw away an eight-point lead with just six matches remaining last season. This allowed Manchester City to pip them to the Premier League title in the final seconds of the campaign.

The Old Trafford giants are unlikely to make the same mistake again. Second-placed City's slip-up against Southampton, coupled with United's 2-0 victory over Everton, stretched their lead at the summit to 12 points .

Ferguson will be looking to Van Persie to fire his side to Champions League success in Madrid on Wednesday, as United take on the La Liga champions for the first time since 2002/03.

The Dutch international swapped Arsenal for the north-west last summer and has hit 23 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions.

Ferguson has plenty of attacking options at his disposal for the trip to Santiago Bernabeu. Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez have each netted 14 times this term.

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, Vidic believes Van Persie has not only brought an abundance of goals to Old Trafford, but also a positive reaction from his fellow forwards.

"He brings goals, which is most important to the team. He is just clinical and I think what is important in football is to keep the product, and the product is the goal and he does that. He does simple things, but which are difficult to do.

"But he is a team player. When he arrived he built up a few players around him to challenge him for the place. He is a great signing.

"When you train with good players it is a great experience for the young players because they can learn from him. Players learn from the players and he is the player you learn from."

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