Few players in football have as much high-level experience as Nemanja Vidic, but even the former Manchester United skipper needs time to adapt.
After leaving Old Trafford a decorated veteran over the summer for Inter Milan, the Serbian made his Serie A debut late last month against Torino.
To say the least, things didn’t exactly go to plan for the 32-year-old. Vidic conceded a penalty inside the opening 20 minutes and received controversial a red card in second half stoppage time.
The sending-off saw him suspended for the Nerazzurri’s 7-0 drubbing of Sassuolo last weekend. But on Sunday, Vidic will finally get a second bite of the Serie A apple as Inter face Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
And the ex-United man says that he is still coming to grips with the differences between Italian football and the Premier League.
He told a press conference: “Obviously I have to adapt. I am still learning the way I have to play in Italian football and that includes the referees.
“To be fair, I believe the referees have a hard job because the players sometimes try to make situations happen, asking for penalties or fouls. I have to say in England they didn’t do that as much as here, so it’s difficult for referees.
“If you ask me what I prefer, then that’s to play the way I play in England, as I believe it’s more honest and respectful. I am here to adapt, not change the mentality.”
Vidic of course has no choice but to adjust his game to the standards held in Serie A, a process that will take time even for a player of his stature.
The 32-year-old went on to pay his new coach Walter Mazzarri a significant compliment, likening the Italian’s approach to that of Sir Alex Ferguson.
“They have a similar approach to the team, as they want a good group and a good atmosphere," he said. “In that way they have the same philosophy, that is more about the group than individuals.”