Matić with Benfica in 2012
|Full name||Nemanja Matić|
|Date of birth||1 August 1988|
|Place of birth||Ub, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2010–2011||→ Vitesse (loan)||27||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 May 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Nemanja Matić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Матић; Serbian pronunciation: [nɛmaɲa matit͡ɕ][lacks tonal diacritics]; born 1 August 1988) is a Serbian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Chelsea and the Serbian national team.
On 18 August 2009, Matić signed for Chelsea from MFK Košice for a fee of around £1.5 million in a four-year contract, having been on trial at Middlesbrough. He was given the number 24 shirt by Chelsea but wasn't able to make his debut immediately due to the injury he picked up at the 2009 under-21 championships. He was on the bench for Chelsea's League Cup match against Queens Park Rangers on 23 September 2009, but did not take any part in the 1–0 victory. Matić made his Premier League debut for Chelsea on 21 November, coming on as a substitute for Florent Malouda in the 69th minute in a 4–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. On 23 August 2010, Matić transferred to Dutch Eredivisie club Vitesse on a one-year loan, together with teammates Slobodan Rajković and Matej Delač.
On 31 January 2011, Matić was transferred to Portuguese club Benfica along with €25 million (£21M) in a swap deal for Brazilian centre back David Luiz. Under Benfica manager Jorge Jesus, Matić was converted from a playmaker into a defensive midfielder.
On 13 January 2013, Matić scored Benfica's first goal in an entertaining 2–2 draw with O Clássico rivals Porto. The next day, he was awarded with a contract extension lasting until 2018, with the buyout clause set at €45 million.
In Benfica's second-leg Round of 32 Europa League clash with Bayer Leverkusen, Matić headed in a late goal after a cross from Lima to seal a 3–1 aggregate victory. Matić was an integral member throughout the 2012–13 Primeira Liga campaign as Benfica looked to claim the club's first league championship since 2010. Going into the penultimate game of the season against rivals Porto, both teams were undefeated in league play, but a stoppage-time winner from substitute Kelvin gave Porto a 2–1 victory, a win which eventually sealed a third straight title for the Dragons.
On 15 May, Matić faced former employers Chelsea in the Europa League final in Amsterdam but was on the losing side as Benfica fell to a 2–1 defeat, courtesy of a last minute Branislav Ivanović header. On 4 July 2013, he was named Primeira Liga Player of the Year, after having won the monthly award three times over the course of the season. On 13 January 2014, Matić placed second in FIFA Puskás Award.
Return to Chelsea
On 15 January 2014, Matić rejoined Chelsea for a fee of £21 million, on a five-and-a-half-year contract. He made his second debut for the club four days later, replacing Willian in a 3–1 win against Manchester United.
On 3 February, Matić made his first Premier League start in Chelsea's fixture away at championship rivals Manchester City. He was named man of the match by Sky Sports as Chelsea ended City's unbeaten run at the City of Manchester Stadium with a 1–0 win.
Matić's debut for the Serbia under-21 team came in a match against Denmark on 11 October 2008. After three matches and two goals for the Serbia under-21 squad, he was called up to the Serbian senior squad and made his debut in a friendly against Poland on 14 December 2008 in a 1–0 loss.
Matić took part in the 2009 UEFA Euro under-21 Championship, where he played 85 minutes in the first group match against Italy in a 0–0 draw. Matić, however, injured himself after contact with Italian forward Sebastian Giovinco. He broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and was forced to undergo surgery.
In December 2012, Matić announced he would not play for the Serbian national team while Siniša Mihajlović is the coach. The reason he gave for this decision is that he felt he was not given the right opportunity by the coach not playing a single minute in his last five call-ups. On 6 September 2013, Matić returned to his national team on a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Croatia, being sent off at 75th minute.
|Serbia national team|
- Primeira Liga Player of the Year: 2012–13
- SJPF Player of the Month: December 2012, January 2013, April 2013
- FIFA Puskás Award: Runner-up 2013
- "Nemanja Mátic". int.soccerway.com.
- "Chelsea confirm signing of Matic". BBC Sport. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Nemanja Matić on trial at Middlesbrough". 14 February 2014.
- Lyon, Sam (21 November 2009). "Chelsea 4–0 Wolves". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Vitesse huurt drietal van Chelsea". nos.nl. 23 August 2010.
- "Chelsea break British record to land Torres". uefa.com. 1 February 2011.
- "Nemanja Matic: 'We spoke for one minute. I had no doubt in coming back'". The Guardian. 15 March 2014.
- "Benfica 2:2 FC Porto" (in Portuguese). Zero Zero. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- PortuGOAL: Matic handed new Benfica deal 14 January 2013
- "Stylish Benfica put an end to Leverkusen". UEFA. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Primeira Liga Preview: Porto – Benfica: Jorge Jesus' men could lift their first Primeira Liga in three years with victory, while the Dragao would go top if they can triumph in front of their own fans.". Goal.com. 10 May 2103. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Benfica suffer crushing title blow just days before Euro showdown with Chelsea". Daily Mail. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Porto claims 27th title on last day". ESPNFC. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Rafael Benitez's reign as Chelsea's interim manager will end in triumph after Branislav Ivanovic's injury-time header won the Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam.". BBC Sport. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "Matic eleito melhor jogador do último campeonato, Vítor Pereira melhor treinador" [Matic voted best player of the last championship, Vítor Pereira best manager] (in Portuguese). A Bola. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Matic foi o melhor jogador da época 2012/13" [Matic was the best player of the 2012/13 season] (in Portuguese). Record. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
- "Nemanja Matic completes £21m Chelsea return". bbc.co.uk/sport. BBC Sport. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Matic Signs". Chelsea FC. 15 January 2014.
- "Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United" BBC Sport. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "Manchester City v Chelsea: player ratings". The Guardian. 3 February 2014.
- "Premier League: Ivanovic strike sees Chelsea beat title rivals Manchester City". BSkyB. 4 February 2014.
- "UEFA stats for Denmark U21 vs. Serbia U21 game".
- "Matić debutoval v srbskom drese" (in Slovak). profutbal. 14 December 2008.
- "Broken bone robs Serbia of Matić". UEFA. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.[dead link]
- "Nemanja Matić: Dok ne ode Miha..." (in Serbian). RTS. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Selector should be called players or they did?". reprezentacija.rs. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Matic back for Serbia's crunch qualifiers". http://sports.yahoo.com. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "Serbia 1-1 Croatia". FIFA. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "N.Matić". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Nemanja Matic". soccerbase.com. Soccerbase. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- MATIC ELEITO O MELHOR DE DEZEMBRO/JANEIRO (Matic voted best player of December/January); SJPF, 1 February 2013 (Portuguese)
- MATIC ELEITO O MELHOR DE ABRIL (Matic voted best player of April)
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