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Nemanja Matic is perhaps the definition of an unsung hero in modern football - the sort of player who makes a team tick, with minimum fuss but maximum efficiency.

The Serbia international may share four syllables of his name with a fellow countryman who made a hugely endearing impact at Old Trafford, Nemanja Vidic, but he is a very different type of footballer. Tough, yes, but rather than being an out-and-out warrior like the former centre-back, he's a world-class holding midfielder who screens the defence and allows other attacking players to flourish. After starting his senior career with FK Kolubara, a Serbian side based in Lazarevac, Matic really made his mark in Slovakia with Kosice. Chelsea snapped him up in 2009 and he was loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem a year later. Benfica signed Matic on a permanent deal when negotiating the sale of Brazil international David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in January 2011 and, on the advice of manager Jorge Jesus, Nemanja became a successful no.6 following his previous years as a no.10. That educational spell in Portugal convinced Chelsea to resign their former player in January 2014 and it proved to be a shrewd move, after Matic instantly helped the Blues to win the Premier League title that season. Two years later Matic claimed his second championship crown under Antonio Conte in 2016/17, playing a vital role in the team alongside N'Golo Kante in the the centre of the park. Although he made 44 appearances that campaign, scoring two goals, including a wonder strike in the FA Cup semi-final, United made a shock move for the Serbian and he was reunited with his former manager Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford in July 2017. The Serbian was thrown straight into the United side for the UEFA Super Cup tie against Real Madrid and made his Premier League debut for the club on the opening day of the season against West Ham. Matic was a mainstay of United’s European campaign. He appeared in every Champions League group stage game apart the Red’s final match against CSKA Moscow, when qualification for the last 16 was all but secured. The Serbian featured in both knockout legs against Sevilla. Matic endeared himself to the United faithful with a stunning stoppage time strike against Crystal Palace to seal a 3-2 comeback for the Reds. The Serbian's effort won the 2017/18 Goal of the Season at the United Player of the Year awards in what was an impressive debut season.

Read Less About Nemanja Matic
  • Position

    Midfielder

  • Country

    Serbia

  • Date of birth

  • Joined

  • United debut

    Real Madrid (N)

Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I am very happy to be a part of this great group.

Latest

Anthony Martial says

"If we have new arrivals, it's good that they get in early so we can get to know everyone's movement. Stuff that comes automatically throughout the season, you learn it during pre-season."

Scott McTominay says

"The best thing about pre-season is playing the matches. After a long summer, getting back out on the pitch and playing in front of a lot of fans again is an amazing feeling."

Nemanja Matic says

"I've had many pre-seasons, very hard ones, when I started to play footall in Serbia. We had old-school coaches - one month without the ball and only running! I don't think Ole will do the same."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says

"We want to get everyone fit for when the season starts. We don't want to lose anyone with injuries. But there are a certain set of principles to say 'this is the way we want to play'."

Jesse Lingard says

"Ole can lay down the foundations for the season. He can talk to us and work with the players on what he wants from us in terms of formations and how he wants us to play."

Chris Smalling says

”It's very much an exciting time for youngsters and I want to see them flourish. I’m sure a good number will come on tour and it’s really a time for them to bond with us."

Fred says

"We have a few things to improve; we were not happy with how last season finished. We will discuss what went wrong so that we can have a better season and challenge for trophies."

Victor Lindelof posing in the new United kit.
Countdown to Monday
Nemanja Matic says

"I think we need to be focused from the first day, to prepare physically and to be ready mentally for the season which is in front of us. Everyone needs to be ready."

Nemanja Matic

Matic: Everyone needs to be ready for next season Article

The Serbian casts an eye towards the 2019/20 campaign ahead of Thursday's fixtures release.

ماتيتش أثناء المشاركة في تدريبات يونايتد
Nemanja Matic says

"I think we need to be focused from the first day, to prepare physically and be ready mentally for the season which is in front of us."

Nemanja Matic lining up before a Serbia match in 2018.

My Home Country: Nemanja Matic Article

Our series continues with Matic picking Serbia's top sports stars and giving travel tips to United fans.

Man United midfielder Nemanja Matic
#MUTrivia
says

Nemanja Matic is one of three Serbians to have represented United, along with Nemanja Vidic and Zoran Tosic.

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