Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is glad to have made his return to football with yesterday’s goalless exhibition match against Norwegian side Valerenga but has hoped for more urgency from his teammates starting with next week’s friendly against Barcelona in Sweden.
United and Barca won their respective leagues in 2011 and also squared off in a massive Champions League final at Wembley that May, with the latter comfortably emerging the winner with a 3-1 score.
The two sides renewed their rivalry in the United States last summer, with the Red Devils winning 2-1 in D.C.
The journey continued similarly for the European giants as they both finished second in their domestic leagues and missed out on the Champions League final last season.
With both outfits now focusing on the next campaign, pre-season activities are in full swing and the Red Devils were thrilled to welcome back skipper Vidic in Norway last night.
Unfortunately, wasteful finishing prevented Sir Alex Ferguson’s men from winning and Vidic admits that the team now needs to ramp up the preparations for the coming season with stronger competition like Barca.
“I felt well. After eight months without a game it’s obvious that you have to get used to your positioning, and still fitness-wise it’s not as hopefully it will be in a few weeks, but I’m pleased. My knee felt well, I felt well and hopefully the next game will be better,” Vidic was quoted by United’s official website.
About the result against Valerenga, the 30-year old added: “Obviously it was the first appearance for a few players, obviously myself as well. It was a good test. Obviously the result was not as we expected but still we had chances we didn’t score. I think it was a good game and a really good test for us.
“It [Barcelona] will be a tough game, but obviously it will be a good test for us. We need those games before the league starts. We have to know it’s a friendly game and it doesn’t count for the trophies and points.
“Hopefully it will be a good test and we will have a good game, but we have to prepare for the Premier League and Champions League. This is our target,” he concluded.
United begin their 2012-13 Premier League campaign away to Everton in two weeks, with Sir Alex already wary of the Toffees’ capabilities.