Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is looking forward to a new challenge in Serie A. The Serbian defender was unveiled to the media today after joining Inter Milan as a free agent this summer after eight seasons at Old Trafford.
"I should have arrived to Italy many years ago," Vidic said to www.inter.it. "Finally I have the opportunity to play here. "I don't think this is a step backwards in my career, I believe this is a step forward for me.
"Italian football suits my game well and, as I said before, I have joined one of the big European clubs. English football is different to Italian but that doesn't mean that Italian is more simple."
The 32-year-old has signed a three-year contract with i Nerazzurri outfit and is ready to help Inter return to winning ways in Italy and in Europe. "Inter is one of the top clubs in the world, with a great history and tradition," he said. "There was a new project in place and I immediately liked it.
"When Inter made an approach, there were many other clubs interested in me but not AC Milan. I'm happy to be here. I know the (club) president (Erick Thohir) has a long term plan and he wants to keep Inter at a high level."
Vidic joined United from Spartak Moscow in 2006 and enjoyed a trophy-laden eight-year spell at Old Trafford, including five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League trophy and a FIFA Club World Cup. Reports in Italy claimed Vidic could be handed the captain's armband after Inter's long-term skipper Javier Zanetti retired from football last month.
However, Vidic has denied such rumours. "First of all I have to earn a place on the pitch," he said. "I've always given my best regardless of whether I have the captain's armband."
Vidic is aware he will have to adapt to the tactics of Inter coach Walter Mazzarri. "Last year I was able to watch many Inter games and I've had the opportunity to get to know my new team," he said."I've never played in a three-man defence but the role of a defender remains the same whether you play with three or four in the line."
Inter finished fifth in Serie A and will compete in next season's UEFA Europa League. The Nerazzurri have not won the Scudetto since the 2009/10 campaign. "Even if I had stayed at United I would not have played in the Champions League," Vidic said. "We will play in the Europa League. I don't regret joining Inter. A club like Inter always has important ambitions and we will just have to make this club proud."
When asked if his former United team-mate Javier Hernandez would follow in his footsteps and join Inter this summer, Vidic said: "I don't know anything. He has not asked me for information about Inter." Mexican striker Hernandez has been strongly linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Inter among the clubs reportedly keen to acquire his services.