Nemanja Matic

Matic's parting message for United fans

Thursday 19 May 2022 12:00

Nemanja Matic has promised that Manchester United will be back, as he prepares for what could be his 190th and final appearance for the club on Sunday.

The Serbian midfielder announced last month that he would be leaving the Reds in the summer following a five-year spell at Old Trafford.

Matic has already bid farewell to home supporters after the 3-0 win over Brentford in M16 at the beginning of May and he was applauded off the field when substituted.

But, as we sat down for an exclusive farewell interview with the 33-year-old recently, he was keen to personally thank the fans, while asking for patience as we all look ahead to a new era under Erik ten Hag.

Matic says farewell to the fans Video

Matic says farewell to the fans

Nemanja Matic reviews his five years in a red shirt, ahead of a potential 190th and final appearance for the club…

“Yeah, I just want to say thank you for the fantastic support,” Matic told us, when asked if he had a parting message.

“I know that we have had a couple of difficult seasons but I just want the fans to know that, at the training ground, we’re doing our best, and United will come back, for sure.

“It’s going to take some time but United will be back. Keep supporting the team. Stay together.”

Nemanja was recognised for his contributions to the cause across five years when he was given that standing ovation during his final appearance for us at Old Trafford.

He believes he has represented the Reds in the right manner since joining from Chelsea in 2017, and feels there is respect for him as a professional.

“I think the fans recognise what I’m doing on the pitch,” he explained. “Also, off the pitch, I try to be an example.

“I tried to be a Manchester United player not only on the pitch but also outside the pitch. I know what this badge means to our supporters, so you need to be an example not only on the pitch.

“I think they recognise that and that’s why, when I came off, I had that applause I had.”

Our in-depth chat with Nemanja covers his entire career with the Reds, from his arrival on the day before his 29th birthday through his debut, playing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and what it was like to be a footballer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We touch upon his penchant for pushing the rules in training and ask him whether he’d miss his team-mates and the Serbian's reply showcases the true family nature of United, as he chooses to focus on those behind the scenes too.

Matic's Old Trafford farewell Video

Matic's Old Trafford farewell

Nemanja Matic was afforded a standing ovation at the end of his final Old Trafford appearance...

“I will miss players but not only players, also the staff around the players: the kit man, the physios, the doctors. Everyone. I don’t want to forget someone.

“United has some fantastic people that are working for the club.

“They are behind the cameras but they are very important for the team. They really like the club and that’s good.

“I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to work with them and, for sure, they will be my friends forever.”

Read the full Q&A with Nemanja on Friday morning.