Veteran defenders Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic, both 32, have been at Manchester United for eight glorious years, producing consistency and quality and winning five Premier League titles and a Champions League winner's medal each.
However, French full back Evra has revealed that both he and the Serbian stopper both wanted to exit the club after a disastrous debut for the Rene Meulensteen's reserve team in 2006.
"When you speak about Vida, it’s like you’re speaking about myself," said Evra to the club's official website. "We joined the club together. I remember the first game was so hard. In one match, we played in the reserves together. We were so poor!
"Rene Meulensteen was manager and he took us both off! We were talking in the dressing room and saying: 'Oh my, why have we come to Manchester United? We should go back to our old clubs!' It was a difficult moment but we stuck together. We’ve been in the same hotel going into training and, together, we’ve won the same trophies."
Vidic, if selected this evening, will compete in his final match as a United player at Old Trafford as they entertain Hull City ahead of their final game of the season, at Southampton. Vidic then transfers away from the club, on a free basis, to Serie A giant Internazionale.
£6.6m-rated Evra could also leave on a free transfer as his current Stretford deal expires in June. His future remains ambiguous and there has even been speculation that he could follow Vidic to Inter, a rumour that may gain further credence when assessing the player's frame of mind over the exit of his friend: "I'm really sad to lose him".
He concluded: "It's painful to lose Vida. For me, he is a great centre-back. When you see a player like Vidic leaving the club, you feel really sad."