Zoran Tosic is a key player for Partizan Belgrade.

Tosic relishing another Reds reunion

Manchester United will be coming up against a former player, Zoran Tosic, in Thursday's Europa League Group L clash with Partizan Belgrade.

The 32-year-old winger joined the Reds from Partizan in January 2009, as part of a double deal to secure Adem Ljajic, who was unable to complete the move due to work-permit issues. Tosic struggled to break into the star-studded first team at Old Trafford and after just five senior appearances, he moved on to CSKA Moscow a year later.

He has already faced us twice, home and away in 2015/16 whilst with CSKA, and he is relishing another chance to meet his old employers.

Adem Ljajic and Zoran Tosic are unveiled by United.
Nemanja Vidic greeted Adem Ljajic and Zoran Tosic when they arrived at United in 2009. Also pictured is Budimir Vucacic, who helped to arrange their move.

“I think it will be a very good experience for everyone at Partizan,” he told MUTV's Stewart Gardner.

“We had punishment from UEFA and played without fans but, now, all the people want to come to the stadium to see Partizan and United, of course. 

“I know the stadium will be full. It will be a nice atmosphere and you will enjoy it.”

Tosic acknowledges it was difficult to make his mark in Manchester but he struck up a good relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was in charge of the Reserves at the time.

“For me, it was like heaven, you know, because I hadn't spent much time at Partizan, so I played in a small city, my hometown and, after a year and a half, I signed for United,” he recalled.

“It was a big step forward for me and there were a lot of world-class players there at that moment. We were the champions of England, and of Europe, and it was a big team. I was lucky to train with these guys and to learn from them.

“I still had two years of my contract with United when I left, and sometimes I think I should have stayed and fought for my place. After all, though, I had seven fantastic years in Moscow. I played almost every season in the Champions League, won a lot of trophies and scored a lot of important goals. So I have to be happy because of that.

Cristiano Ronaldo is replaced by Zoran Tosic.
Zoran Tosic replaces Cristiano Ronaldo, watched on by Mike Phelan.

“We have to be honest - the United team of 10 years ago is completely different to this new team. There are a lot of new guys who are getting a chance to prove themselves in the first team and they are doing well.

“I am a big fan, as well, still of United and I hope United will be as strong as a few years ago but I think they have to give the manager the chance to work and to show that he has strength and knows how to bring United back to the old days.

”Ole was Reserves manager at that time [I was there]. I have a great opinion of him, I had a good experience with him. He believed in me when I played for the Reserves.

Zoran Tosic and Marcos Rojo in Champions League combat.
Zoran Tosic battles for the ball with Marcos Rojo at Old Trafford in 2015.

The experienced Partizan campaigner, nicknamed 'Bambi', also thanked his fellow countryman Nemanja Vidic for helping him settle in Manchester during his time with the Reds.

“It was Nemanja, more than anyone,” he said. “I remember when I came, I didn't speak English. Of course, I learned it in school and, when I came there, I thought I knew English but this was totally different to the English they spoke there!

“I needed some time and he was like an older brother for me there, to help me on and off the pitch.

”I've told him many times that I am very grateful for that.

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