'You couldn't stop him' - Premier League legends hail Viduka

Mark Viduka celebrates a goal for Leeds United against Liverpool in November 2000 Source: Getty Images

Mark Viduka, quite simply, could not be stopped during his playing days at Leeds United, according to Premier League legends Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.

Speaking on a retro edition of Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, the outspoken pair praised the Australian, who scored 72 goals across four seasons at Elland Road.

"You couldn’t stop Viduka from doing what he wanted to do," Liverpool great Carragher said on MNF.

"There are certain players who, physically, you can’t cope with them, so you have to, in some ways, play against them a different way.

"Viduka was always someone who came to the ball and received it at his feet, and then he’d always be backing in to try and turn you.

"You were never, ever going to get in front of him; you were never going to knock him off the ball; you almost had to accept that he was going to hold the ball up.

"You had to make sure you didn’t get turned - he was not really going to run away from you, but it was more about people making runs in behind."

Carragher's comments came after the duo relived United's incredible 4-3 victory over Liverpool from November 2000, a Premier League game famed for Viduka's four-goal haul.

The Socceroos striker was a key figure in David O'Leary's fold that season and led the line with aplomb as Leeds secured fourth-place and a semi-final berth in the UEFA Champions League.

With 22 goals in all competitions, his debut season signalled the start of a Leeds stint football fans have seldom forgotten - including ex-Manchester United captain Neville.

"My view on Viduka is that he could have played for any team in Europe at that time," Neville said on MNF.

"One thing that Sir Alex (Ferguson) used to do before any game was attend to the big players in the opposition team.

"In terms of someone like Viduka, I always remember Tim Cahill when he played at Everton. He (Ferguson) would talk for a minute or two about what you had to do to attend to that player.

"He’d make it quite clear with simple instructions… Viduka was a player that needed attention.

"I think he was one of the best centre-forwards in Europe.

"He was capable of playing in a technical team, capable of playing a long-ball team, capable of playing in any type of team.

"I think Mark Viduka would grace the Premier League today if he was playing.

"He’s such a great player. Technically, he was brilliant; his hold-up play - almost ahead of his time in terms of the way in which he played the game."

Viduka went on to play for both Middlesbrough and Newcastle United following his Leeds departure, before calling time on his career in 2009.