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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.

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Nemanja Matic.

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Nemanja Matic has outlined how practising set-pieces paid off at Stamford Bridge.

Matic: Headers can be a strength video

Serbian midfielder Nemanja explains how set-piece work paid dividends against his former club...

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Solskjaer: Our plan for Man City video

Ole tells the media how he views our second-leg task at the Etihad Stadium...

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Ole's update on three midfielders video

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The boss discusses his plans for the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Manchester City.

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Matic exclusive: Nothing less than a victory Article

In an interview for United Review, Nemanja explains his mindset ahead of Wednesday's match against Burnley.

Nemanja Matic looks to play the ball past Liverpool striker Divock Origi

Matic focused on positives Article

Nemanja Matic was naturally disappointed to lose to Liverpool but encouraged by some aspects of the game.

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Matic: We deserved something video

Nemanja felt United should have taken a point after a determined effort against Liverpool...

Nemanja Matic.

Matic: I live for games like Liverpool away video

Liverpool away is a fixture that requires cool heads and steady hands! Step forward Nemanja Matic, who is ready...

Matic: It’s a game to enjoy Article

Nemanja Matic is looking forward to another big test against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

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