Aleksandar Kolarov believes Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany can hit the same heights as Nemanja Vidic.
Kompany has been one of the Blues' outstanding performers this season and it came as a slight surprise that the Belgian defender was not on the PFA Player of the Year short-list.
Vidic was the only defender among the seven nominees and his Manchester United side will lock horns with City in an eagerly-anticipated FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
Kolarov is an international team-mate of Vidic, 29, and has played alongside Kompany at City this season.
And the Serbian left-back reckons Kompany, 25, has the potential to be ranked on a par with the United captain.
"You have to remember that Vinnie is younger than Vidic," said Kolarov.
"He has done really well for us this season.
"I'm lucky to be able to play alongside him and if he continues the way he is going he can be as good as Vidic."
Kolarov was in the youth ranks at Red Star Belgrade when Vidic was a first-team regular before the pair both left the club in 2004.
They will renew acquaintances at Wembley and the City man knows his side must be at their best to find a way past Vidic, especially as they will be without their own captain, the talismanic Carlos Tevez.
"I know Nemanja very well," Kolarov added.
"We play together in the national team but I have known him since he played for Red Star Belgrade.
"He's a great player, and I'm not just saying that because he's my friend.
"I know he is the United captain but I really do think he's the best defender in England.
"And if you are the best in the English league you are the best in Europe, in my opinion."
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