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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 Jose Mourinho’s Blues to win the Premier League title that season. “He is a giant of a player,” the manager told reporters that May. Mourinho left Chelsea midway through the difficult 2014/15 campaign, but Matic remained and later claimed his second championship crown under Antonio Conte in 2016/17. 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 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 Champions League 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)

To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

Latest

'I accept the decision of the referee' Article

Nemanja has spoken openly and honestly about his dismissal in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win.

Heard about the FIFPro World 11? Article

Four of our players are in contention to be voted into a prestigious fantasy team by their peers.

Nemanja Matic in action for Serbia
International Reds - Friday
says

Nemanja Matic's Serbia play their first game in the UEFA Nations League tonight, away to Lithuania in League C Group 4. The midfielder has 44 caps and two goals for his country so far.

Nemanja Matic in action against Burnley

Matic: This can be our springboard Article

Nemanja Matic hopes Sunday's impressive win at Burnley can kickstart United's campaign.

マティッチ
Nemanja Matic says

"This performance shows we know how to play football and we can still compete for the title."

Nemanja Matic.
#MUTrivia
says

A year ago today, Nemanja Matic became a Red. The Serbian midfielder has scored twice in 49 appearances so far, since arriving from Chelsea.

12 things you may have missed Article

Your Monday Briefing has the latest from Mourinho, details of Matic's injury and news of two outgoing deals.

Matic at training in the USA.

Mourinho confirms surgery for Matic Article

Jose believes Nemanja will miss the start of the season due to an injury sustained at the World Cup.

Nemanja Matic in training before he sustained an injury.

Trio unavailable for United Article

Jose Mourinho has provided an update on Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial and Antonio Valencia.

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