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Jamie Vardy names Manchester United's Chris Smalling the toughest defender he has faced

Sunaadh Sagar
14.31K   //    25 Feb 2016, 23:30 IST
Vardy Smalling defender
Despite scoring against Manchester United, Vardy named Smalling as his toughest opponent

Jamie Vardy, who has been terrorizing opposition defences all year round, has named Manchester United defender Chris Smalling as the toughest opponent he has faced this season. The Englishman also revealed that he would not like to face Real Madrid defender Pepe, while also paying tribute to manager Claudio Ranieri, noting the Italian’s attention to detail.

Vardy was present at the launch of Betfair’s ‘Acca Edge’ feature, and in an interview with the betting website revealed Smalling as his toughest opponent, saying “On a personal level, Chris Smalling [has been my toughest opponent].He’s always tight and always around you to stop you from doing your bit on the ball or getting turned.”

“It makes it very difficult for you to bring your team-mates into the game as well.” Vardy faced off against Smalling in the same fixture in which he broke the Premier League record for most consecutive goals, as his 19 goals so far have propelled Leicester City to the top of the Premier League.

Vardy, who also noted that Old Trafford was his favourite away ground, named the incredible volley/half-volley he scored against Liverpool as his favourite goal of the season.

Vardy reveals Ranieri’s 24x7 nature

Claudio Ranieri has been instrumental in guiding Leicester to the top of the Premier League, and Jamie Vardy is fulsome in his praise for his manager, saying “I think he examines every single aspect of every opposition we’re playing.” 

“He comes into our team meetings where he's been up all night watching 50-60 clips of just one of the opposition's players and he will tell you exactly what he’s done in 49 of them and what he did in the other 11. It’s mental how much detail he goes into but it's a help to us and hopefully gives us an advantage.”

Vardy also jokingly revealed that the ‘pizza’ that Ranieri promised the Leicester squad came with conditions, as the players were made to make their own as part of a team-bonding exercise, while only being allowed tomatoes and mozzarella as toppings.

Leicester City are nailed on to make the Champions League spots this season, and Vardy cannot wait to face off against the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, although the Englishman still remains circumspect, noting that the Foxes still have a long way to go.

When asked to sum up Leicester’s magical season, Vardy replied much like his finishing, saying “Theme Park Ride...Wicked.”

Here’s the video of Vardy’s interview:

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