Nemanja Nikolić (footballer, born 1987)
Nikolić with the Chicago Fire in 2017
|Full name||Nemanja Nikolić|
|Date of birth||31 December 1987|
|Place of birth||Senta, SFR Yugoslavia (today in Serbia)|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10 April 2021|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 March 2021
Nemanja Nikolić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Николић, pronounced [němaɲa nǐkolitɕ]; Hungarian: Nikolics Nemanja; born 31 December 1987) is a Hungarian footballer who plays as a striker for Nemzeti Bajnokság I club Fehérvár. Born in SR Serbia, but never selected for the Serbian national team, he chose to represent the Hungarian national team instead.
On 7 February 2008, Nikolić was signed by Kaposvár. He played his first match against Videoton. He managed to score thirty goals in just 49 matches therefore many top Hungarian sides wanted to sign him such as Újpest, Ferencváros and Videoton.
Nikolić won the 2010–11 season of the Hungarian League with Videoton. With the arrival of the Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa he was often left out from the first squad in the early matches of the 2011–12 season of the Hungarian League. However, as a substitute he managed to score against Paks, Siófok (twice), Újpest (twice) and Pápa in a row in the Hungarian League.
On 2 August 2012, Nikolić scored the only goal of the first leg of the third round of the Europa league 2012–13 season, when Videoton beat the Belgian K.A.A. Gent 1–0 at the Sóstói Stadion. He also scored in the second leg of the tie which was won by 3–0 by Videoton at the Jules Ottenstadion. On 4 September 2012, he scored a goal in the Europa league 2012–13 season when Videoton beat Portugal's Sporting CP 3–0 at Stadion Sóstói.
On 26 October 2014, Nikolić set a new record scoring in 12 consecutive league matches in the 2014–15 season.
On 8 June 2015, Nikolić joined Ekstraklasa club, Legia Warsaw. On 19 July 2015, Nikolić debuted in the 2015–16 season of the Ekstraklasa by scoring two goals against Śląsk Wrocław at the Stadion Miejski, Wrocław. On 16 March 2016 Nikolic scored a hat-trick against Zawisza Bydgoszcz at the Pepsi Arena, Warsaw. The match ended with a 4–0 win for Legia Warsaw. On 15 May 2016 Legia became champions of the 2015–16 Ekstraklasa season by beating Pogoń Szczecin 3–0 at home. He was the top scorer of the 2015–16 Ekstraklasa season, scoring 28 goals in 37 matches.
Nikolić joined the Chicago Fire as a Designated Player for a reported transfer fee of $3 million from Legia Warsaw on 20 December 2016 on a three-year deal worth reportedly $1.9 million per year, per MLS Players Union documents.
Speaking on the transfer, in a press release by the club, Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez stated "Through this transfer, we have secured a champion in his prime, and one of the most prolific goal scorers in Europe over the last few years".
Fire coach Veljko Paunović noted his awareness of Nikolić from an early age from his time in Serbia. In an article published by the Fire Paunović praised Nikolić's skillset:
“His quality is scoring goals and assisting, but then he’s a man that can participate in both phases of team play,” Paunovic said. “He’s very good in all phases of the game. Defensively, he helps the team to recover the ball as soon as possible in order that we can control the game and create opportunities for our team to win. Sometimes he will benefit from team play and he will be just the executor, but sometimes he’s capable of creating his own situations in the game, the opportunities 1v1, and scoring his own goals.”
Nikolić's high career strike-rate continued with the Fire, where he became an instant success - leading the league in scoring and acquiring numerous accolades through the first half of the season, and ultimately winning the 2017 MLS Golden Boot. His first goal for the club came in the Fire's 2017 home opener against Real Salt Lake, in which he scored an unassisted effort in the 11th minute.
With 10 goals through the first 11 games of the season, Nikolić led the league in scoring. With his brace against the Colorado Rapids on 16 May, he became the first Fire player to score in four straight games since Mike Magee in 2013. This brace once again earned him MLS Team of the Week honors.
After week 15 Nikolić continued to lead the league in scoring, with 12 goals in 15 games. He was named to the week 15 Team of the Week for his goal against Atlanta United in Chicago's 2–0 home win alongside Fire players Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Accam, and João Meira.
A week after Fire teammate David Accam was named player of the week for week 17 for his hat-trick against Orlando City SC, Nikolić earned the same honor on 3 July for his brace against the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was the second time he won the award (the first time in week 7 as noted above). After week 18 Nikolić continued to lead the MLS Golden Boot race with 16 goals in 18 matches.
In February 2020, Nikolić left the Fire on the expiry of his contract and returned to Hungary and former club Videoton now known as Fehérvár. Nikolić was given the number 71 shirt upon his return.
On 11 October 2013, Nikolić debuted in the Hungary national football team against the Netherlands in an 8–1 defeat at the Amsterdam Arena in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. On 14 October 2013 Nikolić scored his first goal in the national team against Andorra in the 51st minute. His second goal was recorded as an own goal by Lima.
Nikolić was called up to Hungary's squad for UEFA Euro 2016. On 18 June 2016 he played in a 1–1 draw against Iceland at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille in which his run and far post drive was re-directed in by Iceland for the last minute equalizer.
On 3 May 2018, Nikolić announced his retirement from the national team.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
Hungary score listed first, score column indicates score after each Nikolić goal.
|1.||15 October 2013||Ferenc Puskás Stadium, Budapest, Hungary||Andorra||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2.||18 November 2014||Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary||Russia||Friendly|
|3.||5 June 2015||Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen, Hungary||Lithuania|
|4.||9 November 2017||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||Luxembourg|
|5.||14 November 2017||Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary||Costa Rica|
|6.||6 September 2020||Puskás Aréna, Budapest, Hungary||Russia||2020–21 UEFA Nations League B|
|7.||8 October 2020||Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria||Bulgaria||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs|
|8.||28 March 2021||San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino||San Marino||2022 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- Hungarian League Top scorer: 2009–10 (18 goals), 2013–14 (18 goals; shared with Attila Simon), 2014–15 (21 goals)
- Ekstraklasa Top scorer: 2015–16 (28 goals)
- Polish Cup Top scorer: 2015–16 (6 goals)
- Ekstraklasa Player of the Month: August 2015, September 2015, October 2015
- Ekstraklasa Best Forward: 2015–16
- Ekstraklasa Best Player: 2015–16
- Ekstraklasa Canal + Spectator Prize: 2015–16
- MLS Golden Boot: 2017 (24 goals)
- MLS Best XI: 2017
- 2017 Hungarian Player of the Year (M4 Sport Gála)
- 2018 ESPY Awards Best MLS Player
On 28 January 2011, Nikolić obtained Hungarian citizenship. András Cser-Palkovics, mayor of Székesfehérvár said that "We know about him that he knows the country, speaks the language since he has big plans with Videoton this year". Nikolić said that "I knew that it is not easy to obtain Hungarian citizenship but I hoped that due to the fact that my mother is Hungarian it would be easier but it turned out to be a bit more difficult."
- "Nikolics Nemanja - vidi.hu". Vidi.hu. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- Ексклузивно, Немања Николић, репрезентативац Мађарске: Нико ме из ФСС није гледао!. zurnal.rs (in Serbian). 20 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- Jovanović, Jovan. "Priča dana Mađarski reprezentativac Nemanja Nikolić otvorio dušu za "Sport"". sport.rs (in Serbian). Dnevni list Sport. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Nikolić thriving in Videoton spotlight". UEFA. 6 May 2010.
- "Season review: Hungary". UEFA. 9 July 2010.
- "UEFA Europa League 2012–13: Videoton 1–0 KAA Gent". UEFA. 2 August 2012.
- "UEFA Europa League 2012–13: KAA Gent 0–3 Videoton". UEFA. 9 August 2012.
- "UEFA Europa League 2012–13: Paulo Sousa's Videoton stun Sporting". UEFA. 4 October 2012.
- "Europa League round-up: Lazio and Inter win, but Napoli defeated". BBC Sport. 4 October 2012.
- "Nikolics Európa-rekorder! A DVTK és az otthon kapott hármasok". Nemzeti Sport. 27 October 2014.
- "Nemanja Nikolić piłkarzem Legii [Nemanja Nikolić is a Legia player]" (in Polish). 8 June 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "Śląsk Wrocław 1-4 Legia Warsaw". UEFA.com. 19 July 2015.
- "Legia Warsaw 4-0 Zawisza Bydgoszcz". UEFA.com. 16 March 2016.
- "N. Nikolics". Soccerway.com. 16 May 2016.
- "Baller on a budget: Nemanja Nikolic is the best forward in MLS right now". Fourfourtwo.com. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Nikolić odchodzi z Legii - Legia Warszawa". Legia.com.
- "Chicago Fire Sign Nemanja Nikolic as Designated Player". Chicago-fire.com. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Paunovic: Nikolic brings class and "highest expectations" to Chicago Fire". Chicago-firec.om. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Fire's Nemanja Nikolic leading MLS in goals, and taking the league by storm". Mlssoccer.com. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Chicago Fire Victorious in Home Opener 2-0 Against Real Salt Lake". Chicago-fire.com. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 7): Sporting KC recognized after another big win". Mlssoccer.com. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Chicago Fire's Nemanja Nikolic voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week". Mlssoccer.com. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 11): Fire, Union feature after statement wins". Mlssoccer.com. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Chicago Fire 3, Colorado Rapids 0 - 2017 MLS Match Recap". Mlssoccer.com. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 12): Superstars, and Men in Red, shine". Mlssoccer.com. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 15): Portland Timbers impress in shutout win". Mlssoccer.com. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Chicago FW Nemanja Nikolic voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Month for May". Mlssoccer.com. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Chicago Fire's Nemanja Nikolic wins Week 18 Alcatel MLS Player of the Week". Mlssoccer.com. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Nikolic, Schweinsteiger Named to 2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI Presented by Target". Chicago-fire.com. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "By Season". www.mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- "Nemanja Nikolic back at Vidi". 6 February 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
- "FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualification: Netherlands 8-1 Hungary". Fifa.com. 11 October 2013.
- "Eight-goal Oranje dent Hungary hopes". Fifa.com. 11 October 2013.
- "FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualification: Hungary 2-0 Andorra". Fifa.com. 15 October 2013.
- "Hungarian victory to no avail". Fifa.com. 15 October 2013.
- "Hungary 1-2 Russia". Eurosport. 18 November 2014.
- "Hungary on the offensive with EURO squad". UEFA.com. 31 May 2016.
- "UEFA Euro 2016: Iceland 1–1 Hungary". UEFA.com.
- "Válogatott: Nikolics Nemanja nem játszik többet a nemzeti csapatban!" (in Hungarian). Nemzeti Sport.com. 3 May 2018.
- "HLSZ". Hlsz.hu. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Legia Warszawa: Ekstraklasa 2015-16".
- "Legia Warszawa win Polish Cup". Thenews.pl. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
- "OTP Bank Liga Top Goalscorers 2009/10". Soccervista.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
- "OTP Bank Liga Góllövőlista 2013/14" (in Hungarian).
- "OTP Bank Liga Top Goalscorers 2014/15". Soccervista.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
- "Strzelcy" (in Polish).
- "Nikolić piłkarzem miesiąca sierpnia Ekstraklasy 2015" (in Polish). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
- "PIŁKARZ MIESIĄCA: NEMANJA NIKOLIĆ!" (in Polish).
- "Hat-trick Nikolicia!" (in Polish).
- nemzetisport.hu (16 May 2016). "Légiósok: Nikolics három egyéni díjat is besöpört - NSO" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "2017 MLS Best XI revealed: Who was the best in 2017?". MLS Soccer. 30 November 2017.
- https://www.chicago-fire.com/post/2018/01/11/nikolic-named-best-hungarian-footballer-2018-m4-sport-gala. Missing or empty
- "Nikolics Nemanja letette az állampolgársági esküt". Nemzeti Sport. 28 January 2011.
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