Rio, Stam, Vidic: what's your order?

JohnnyKills

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Pallister deserves to be in this conversation too actually. He'd probably come out fourth but not much between him and Vidic.

One of the (many) great things about Fergie's era was that we always had top-class CBs. I'd even argue that Silvestre and Wes Brown were excellent PL defenders (Silvestre had a brilliant run alongside Ferdinand before the drugs ban in 03-04).
 

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Rio was elegant. Stam and Vidic were brutes. All three top class but Rio shades it for me. He had everything and a great style.
 

r3idy

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Rio / Vida / Stam for me. Rio was an utter Rolls Royce and played against some very good forwards week in week out (same as Vida). I rate Vida just that little bit higher than Stam due to his longevity at Utd and being skipper compared to Japp. Pound for Pound not a lot in it though to be fair
 

ExoduS

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Who cares? All are all time greats with strengths and weaknesses. Vidic and Rio did more for United than Stam did, so I put these two ahead of Stam just for that reason. Stam is an all-time great but 3 years at United is too short to rate him higher than Vidic and Rio even if arguments are presented that he was better.

Rio and Vidic is a dream pair. It's unfair to rate one higher than the other. No reason for it.
 

kafta

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I think its just personal preference. Mine is: Rio, Vidic, Stam
 

macheda14

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Stam
Vidic
Rio

Very little between them and it's a case of what you like. Stam seemed almost unbeatable at the time, but that may be my age during his time at the club.

I can definitely see the case for Rio being the best of the 3, despite him being bottom of my list, because he was certainly the better overall footballer. But I find it hard to place him above Vidic when the latter was not only the leader of the team but also won the individual accolades while both played together.
I always felt with Vidic he was the best of a dying breed of CBs. You don’t see many if any CBs like him anymore who would die rather than concede a goal, and he won the accolades because we were just coming to the end of that era of physicality over tactics. Whereas Rio was one of the smartest CBs around and is almost the archetype defender of what we see today. His reading of the game was second to none, the fact he didn’t pick up a yellow card between 2009 and 2011 and got one red card in his career is just mental. That’s not to say Vidic wasn’t also a very smart CB, he still had a fantastic read of the game, but Rio was just next level.
 

macheda14

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Who cares? All are all time greats with strengths and weaknesses. Vidic and Rio did more for United than Stam did, so I put these two ahead of Stam just for that reason. Stam is an all-time great but 3 years at United is too short to rate him higher than Vidic and Rio even if arguments are presented that he was better.

Rio and Vidic is a dream pair. It's unfair to rate one higher than the other. No reason for it.
Because it’s a conversation on a football forum at a time when talking about United’s present situation isn’t very fun.
 

Fortitude

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Stam then Rio...best two centre-halves I've seen play for United.

After that take your pick but Paul McGrath, Gary Pallister, Nemanja Vidic, Martin Buchan would be the four main candidates for third spot.
What is your take on the McGrath who sobered up and gave it his all for Villa? His WC94 truly is the stuff of legend, just incredible.

Was McGrath's very best at United a patch on either of the aforementioned (Villa, WC94)?
 

groovyalbert

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Different horses for courses really. I guess where Stam is slightly unfortunate is that he never had a consistent partner, or someone of the same quality as Rio/Vidic alongside him.

If I had to to choose I'd probably stick Rio first as he was the best footballer out of the 3, and read the game brilliantly. Stam had elements of both Rio and Vidic in his game, and would probably be a better option in a weaker pairing than both Vidic and Rio, so would go with him second. And Vidic would be third, although that's still saying a lot. Also worth noting that Vidic is probably the only one of the three where you can pick out a specific campaign where he was one of the active driving forces behind out success (PL 10/11).
 

Red the Bear

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I'm biased as I think stam was the greatest cb that we ever had and it was a profoundly huge mistake by Fergie to let him go like that as he still had some years left in him.

With rio and vidic it gets a lot more complicated as the both complemented each other so well that its hard not see them as a unit.
I say this , I'll assume rio would adapt to the modern game more easily as he was very much in the mould of a modern defender but even then vidic was Supreme.
Hard for me that one and I can't do it so I go with:
Stam
Riovidic
 

arthurka

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Stam
Vidic
Rio

Stam was the best defender I have seen brilliant on the ball and terrifying.

Vidic just my kind of a player warrior.

Rio was elite and Rolls Royce defender but for me he was just didn't have that warrior eminent.

But this is like having to pick one of your kids.
 

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Vidic is a top 3 player of all time for me so I put him 1st. We need a guy like him now more than ever.
 

Hammondo

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I always felt with Vidic he was the best of a dying breed of CBs. You don’t see many if any CBs like him anymore who would die rather than concede a goal, and he won the accolades because we were just coming to the end of that era of physicality over tactics. Whereas Rio was one of the smartest CBs around and is almost the archetype defender of what we see today. His reading of the game was second to none, the fact he didn’t pick up a yellow card between 2009 and 2011 and got one red card in his career is just mental. That’s not to say Vidic wasn’t also a very smart CB, he still had a fantastic read of the game, but Rio was just next level.
I think this speaks volumes, Rio was one of the first of the modern CB, more agile and well-rounded. Vidic was the opposite, the type of defender you do not need much anymore.
 

RedBanker

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VVD for me is better. Is up there with Nesta. Rio was a bit so-so until Vidic arrived.
Naah...VVD does not have to deal with the kind of forwards Rio-Vidic dealt with....Drogba, Torres, Henry etc ..
 

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Rio is probably the best defender I've ever seen, alongside Nesta, but arguably I didn't see enough of him. He made everything look so damn easy. He's 1st, comfortably.
 

Massive Spanner

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What is your take on the McGrath who sobered up and gave it his all for Villa? His WC94 truly is the stuff of legend, just incredible.

Was McGrath's very best at United a patch on either of the aforementioned (Villa, WC94)?
McGrath was an unbelievable defender who was hampered by his alcoholism. The man used to play drunk and still be amazing. I've no doubt he'd be rated as one of the best ever if he'd kept himself sober and didn't have so many issues with his knees.
 

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McGrath was an unbelievable defender who was hampered by his alcoholism. The man used to play drunk and still be amazing. I've no doubt he'd be rated as one of the best ever if he'd kept himself sober and didn't have so many issues with his knees.
Yeah, no question about that for me either. I think he'd have been snapped up by an Italian club of that era if he wanted to go and his story would've been so much different from what it was. WC94 elevates him for many who know about it; that could have been his default setting, like it was for many an Italian defender of the era.
 

crossy1686

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Can't disagree with

Rio
Stam
Vidic

Rio was the best defender in the world. He could have played in any team, in any system and been brilliant.
Stam was an excellent defender, would say he's on par with VVD.
Vidic was a thug and loved the fight, would go for the ball like it had insulted his entire family, but like others have said, there were better versions of the defender he was at the time he was around, and he really got exposed in Italy when he was required to actually defend and be more disciplined.
 

crossy1686

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Stam
Vidic
Rio

Stam was the best defender I have seen brilliant on the ball and terrifying.

Vidic just my kind of a player warrior.

Rio was elite and Rolls Royce defender but for me he was just didn't have that warrior eminent.

But this is like having to pick one of your kids.
I don't know, Luis Garcia tells a story where Rio came through the back of him on his debut for Liverpool against United while screaming "Welcome to England, now get up!". Rio was tough, he did his fair share of kicking.
 

Random Task

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Rio, Stam and Vidic are the best CBs that I've seen play for the club live. McGrath and Pallister were before my time, unfortunately. I've seen vids on both, but it's not the same thing obviously.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Martin Buchan, who my dad insists (to this very day) was the greatest central defender to play for the club. Do any of the older members remember this guy, how good was he?
 

Foxbatt

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Stam
Vidic
Rio.

Vidic does the dirty work. Stam can do both.
 

El Jefe

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I often feel Rio gets ranked above Vidic purely because of the aesthetic nature of his play.

Based on what they achieved at United, I struggle to see how Rio is ranked above Vidic. I say this as someone that prefers Rio but in terms of actual effectiveness, Vidic was top class with any partner, Rio wasn't necessarily as good without Vidic.

Edit: Rio was better overall across his career but Vidic was better for United.
 

Annihilate Now!

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If I didn't have any good CB's at the club, Vidic is the one I would put in first.

If I already had one good CB, Rio is the one i'd put next to him.
 

Chesterlestreet

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Absolute prime, it's probably:

Stam > Rio > Vidic

But Stam's absolute prime was shorter than Rio's.

Overall, I think the OP's order is about right.
 

Real Name

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They werent the same type of CB so as it was said here its a matter of preference. Stam and Vidić were an old school no nonsense defenders who would make a last ditch to defend the goal, Rio was more elegant and more about reading the game, cutting opposing attack before needing to defend and was before his time in the sense of playing it out from the back.
So Rio first, Stam and Vidić second for me.

Saying that its such a shame Stam's time at United was so short.
And we had really good CBs during the years. Pallister, Berg, Johnsen, I might have forgot someone.
 

Red the Bear

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Also I might add, I think Steve Bruce gets criminally under rated due to his well frankly meme like face and status but he was genuinely pivotal to our success.
 

MUFC OK

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Vidic was the best, most consistent and the most dominant, he's underrated now somehow because of a few games against Torres when Torres also destroyed Ferdinand if I remember correctly and Ferdinand was beaten by others during his career.
VVD was destroyed by Anthony Martial.

Vidic won 2 Premier League player of the season awards, that's pretty insane and ties him with only Thierry Henry and Ronaldo. One of KDB or Salah will no doubt join that group this season.
 

Red the Bear

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VVD was destroyed by Anthony Martial.

Vidic won 2 Premier League player of the season awards, that's pretty insane and ties him with only Thierry Henry and Ronaldo. One of KDB or Salah will no doubt join that group this season.
When did this happen?

But yeah pretty much agree with you on the rest.