Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has sought to clarify comments attributed to him as disliking the English lifestyle and Manchester weather, saying that an interview with a Russian magazine had either been taken out of context or misquoted.
On a statement released on the club's website, the Vidic admitted discussing how difficult he found it adapting to life in England when he first joined from Spartak Moscow in January 2006. He admitted struggling with a new language and culture which contrasted with that of Russia or his native Serbia.
Yet he denied he had ever said: 'In Manchester the main attraction is a timetable at the railway station where trains leave for less rainy cities!
'In England people don't have time to feel the joy of life. Throughout the week they work so hard. They only talk to people at lunch. Then in the evening they watch TV so they can get up early for work the next day.'
The 26-year-old said: 'I'd like to clarify that I did not make these particular remarks. I spoke about the difficulty I had settling in to life in Manchester, but that does not reflect how I feel now.
'I enjoy my life very much as a footballer at Manchester United and I'm very happy to be a part of this great club. I think I show that in the way I play every week. I also have far too much respect for the people of Manchester, and England, to criticise them in this way.'
Neither Vidic nor United chose to remark on other comments attributed to him that stated he aspired to spending some of his later career in Spain.