How Matic used the summer break
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has confirmed that he plans to go into coaching after he retires from professional football.
The 32-year-old is one of a handful of senior Reds who returned to full training this week after the summer break, and he's clearly nowhere near ready to hang up his boots just yet.
However, the Serbian - who retired from international football in 2020 - has been using his time off to study for his UEFA B licence, as he seeks to put plans in place for his post-playing career.
In June, he took to Instagram to announce that he had completed the coaching qualification and getting some practical experience has helped him look at the game from an alternative angle.
“I thought it was going to be much easier, but it was hard,” Nemanja told us, as part of an exclusive interview. “Every day, five or six hours, we had a course.
“[There were] some interesting things. Of course, when we play football, sometimes you think that you know everything about football! But to be a coach is totally different; a different job than a football player.
“I really enjoy it. I really enjoy it. As you know, I've decided, after football, to be a coach, so I've finished my first step, which is my B licence. I'm looking forward to my A licence next year.”
Matic’s contract at Old Trafford runs until June 2023 and he knows he still has plenty to offer on the playing side after making 36 appearances across all competitions last season.
However, he also says he will take a keen interest in the work of the coaching staff before he undertakes the next stage of his badges.
Having played under the likes of managers Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as well as a number of leading coaches, Nemanja believes he already has a lot of practical experience to take into his managerial career.
“The next step is the A licence. I want to finish that while I still play football. Then the Pro Licence, you need to finish your career," the midfielder added.
“My plan is to play football as much as I can, but I need to prepare my future, of course. I decided to be a coach, so we will see if I have the quality for that, of course.
“I'm always focused on what I have to do on the pitch, but I always try to see what the coaches are doing during the games, during the training, to see and take the best from them.
“I always try to learn. So I'm trying to use that one day.
“I was lucky that, in my career, I've had top coaches, so we will see if I can use some of their qualities.”
Matic was one of 18 players snapped by our photographer at Carrington on Monday and, with many of the squad still either in action for their countries or now on holiday, he is set to play an important part in pre-season fixtures with Derby, QPR, Brentford and Everton.
Can't make the games? Don't forget you can watch all of United's pre-season friendlies live on MUTV. Take advantage of our '12 months for the price of six' offer now.