Matić with Chelsea in 2014
|Full name||Nemanja Matić|
|Date of birth||1 August 1988|
|Place of birth||Šabac, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2000–2004||Red Star Belgrade|
|2010–2011||→ Vitesse (loan)||27||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 November 2015.
Nemanja Matić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Матић; born 1 August 1988) is a Serbian professional footballer who plays for English club Chelsea and the Serbia national team as a defensive midfielder. He is widely applauded for his consistently good performances on the pitch and is regarded by many as one of the best defensive midfielders of world football.
He began his career at Jedinstvo Ub and Slovak side MFK Košice before joining Chelsea for £1.5 million in 2009. Used sparingly during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, he spent the 2010–11 season on loan at Dutch club Vitesse, and in January 2011 he moved to Benfica in a swap deal involving David Luiz. Matić returned to Chelsea three years later, for £21 million. He has been a full international for Serbia since 2008, earning over 25 caps.
Born in Šabac, Matić began his senior career at Kolubara in 2005. He signed for Slovak club Košice in January 2007 and stayed at the club until the summer of 2009. While living in the country, he also received Slovak citizenship.
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 was not 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 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 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 Porto, both teams were undefeated in league play, but a stoppage-time winner from substitute Kelvin gave Porto a 2–1 victory.
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.
In the 2013–14 season, Matić played half of the season, with 22 matches and 3 goals, he helped Benfica to win the Primeira Liga and Taça de Portugal. On 13 January 2014, Matić placed second in the 2013 FIFA Puskás Award.
Return to Chelsea
On 15 January 2014, Matić rejoined Chelsea for a fee of £21 million (€25M), 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.
He scored his first Premier League goal on 30 August 2014, in a 6–3 win at Everton. A month later, Matić scored the only goal as Chelsea won away at Sporting CP in the group stage of the Champions League; on 5 November in the same competition his goal earned Chelsea a 1–1 draw at NK Maribor.
Matić was given a straight red card in Chelsea's 1–1 home draw against Burnley on 21 February 2015 for pushing over Ashley Barnes following a high tackle by him, which resulted in the bending of Matić's shin. On appeal, his suspension was shortened to two matches, including the League Cup Final.
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 was 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 in the 75th minute.
He scored his first international goal on 29 March 2015 in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match away to Portugal at the Estádio da Luz, equalising via an overhead kick, albeit in a 1–2 defeat. On 11 October, in a loss against the same opponents by the same score at the Partizan Stadium, Matić received a straight red card within a minute of teammate Aleksandar Kolarov's dismissal.
- As of match played 21 November 2015
- As of match played 13 November 2015
|Serbia national team|
- Primeira Liga Player of the Year: 2012–13
- SJPF Player of the Month: December 2012, January 2013, April 2013
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- "Player Profile: Nemanja Matić". chelseafc.com.
- "N. Mátic". Soccerway.
- "A Football Report — Zero to Hero: The rise of Nemanja Matic". A Football Report. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Chelsea have Europe's best defensive midfielder in Nemanja Matic". Eurosport. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- Gill, Kieran (26 October 2014). "Nemanja Matic is better than former Chelsea defensive midfielder Claude Makelele and is a 'constant threat', insists Graeme Souness". Mail Online. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Matič so slovenským občianstvom, do repre až o tri roky". SME. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "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 2013. 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.
- "Benfica lift cup to seal historic treble". UEFA. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Benfica conquista Taça e consegue o triplete em Portugal" [Benfica conquers Portuguese Cup and achieves the treble in Portugal] (in Portuguese). FIFA. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- "FIFA Puskás award 2013 – results" (PDF). FIFA.com. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Nemanja Matic completes £21m Chelsea return". bbc.co.uk/sport. BBC Sport. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 31 December 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.
- "Everton 3–6 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Sporting 0–1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- Sever, Grega (5 November 2014). "Handanovič helps Maribor to Chelsea draw". UEFA. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Sanghera, Mandeep (21 February 2015). "Chelsea 1-1 Burnley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- "Nemanja Matic: Chelsea player's ban reduced to two games". BBC Sport. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "PFA Team of the Year: Chelsea have six players selected". BBC Sport. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- Bevan, Chris (24 October 2015). "West Ham 2-1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "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.
- "Portugal see off Serbia to top Group I". UEFA. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Nikčević, Sonja (11 October 2015). "Moutinho magic seals top spot for Portugal". UEFA. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- "Serbian Uros Matic to play for Macedonia". Eurosport Australia. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "Nemanja Matić". European Football. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- "Matic revela que recebeu medalha de campeão pelo correio" [Matić reveals that he received champions medal by mail] (in Portuguese). A Bola. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
- "Nemanja Matic". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 18 August 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)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nemanja Matić.|
- Profile on Serbian national football team website
- Nemanja Matić profile at ForaDeJogo
- Nemanja Matić profile at Soccerway
- Nemanja Matić – UEFA competition record
- Nemanja Matić at National-Football-Teams.com