Nemanja Matić

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Nemanja Matić
Nemanja Matic 2014.jpg
0Full Name Nemanja Matić
0Date of Birth 1 August 1988
0Place of Birth Šabac, SFR Yugoslavia
0Position Midfielder
0Chelsea career 2009 – 2011
2014 – 2017
0Debut 21 November 2009
0Games (goals) 154 (7)
0Other clubs Kolubara Lazarevac
MFK Košice
Vitesse (loan)

Nemanja Matić (born August 1 1988 in Šabac, Serbia) is a Serbian international midfielder who played for Chelsea in two spells, most notably from 2014-17. He initially joined the club in 2009 and made three appearances for the Blues during the 2009-10 season before signing for Benfica in 2011 as part of the deal that took David Luiz to Stamford Bridge. He won an FA Cup-winners medal during his first spell in west London, having been an unused substitute for the 2010 FA Cup Final. Matić developed significantly in Portugal, becoming one of Europe's most formidable defensive midfielders, and he returned to Chelsea in January 2014 for a fee of €25m. Tall, athletic and naturally left-footed, Matić is a deep-lying central midfielder with defensive and attacking attributes, combining the combativeness and anticipation required in defensive situations with the vision and passing ability to move the ball forward. [1] [2]


Before Chelsea

At the age of 16 in 2004, Matić was called up to the full squad of Serbian side Kolubara Lazarevac. Matić played there for three seasons amassing 16 appearances. After impressing in the Srpska Liga Belgrade he was bought by Slovakian club MFK Košice of the Corgoň Liga. He impressed during his time in Slovakia making 67 Corgoň Liga appearances and scoring 4 goals; helping them gain 4th spot in the league during the 2008–09 campaign. He also impressed in the Slovak Cup helping his team defeat FC Artmedia Petržalka in the cup final at NTC Stadion in Senec. Košice won the game 3-1 and gained a berth in the first edition of the UEFA Europa League.

After having a trial early in the 2008-09 Premier League season, it was believed that Middlesbrough were leading the pack to sign the young Serbian star, but the trial was cut short as he was called up for Serbia's full squad for a friendly against Denmark. In the summer months there was much speculation in England that Matić would move to the Premier League, with a hosts of clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea rumoured to be interested.

Chelsea (2009–2011)

On 18 August 2009, Matic signed for Chelsea for a fee of around £1.5 million on a four-year contract. [3] [4]. He was given the number 24 shirt by Chelsea but wasn't able to make his debut immediately due to an injury he picked up at the U-21 Championships. He was on the bench for Chelsea's League Cup tie 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 November 21, 2009 coming on for Florent Malouda on 69 minutes in the 4-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Matić in action on 9 May 2010
Following an appearance as a substitute against Watford in the FA Cup, his second league appearance also came as a substitute against Wigan Athletic, on the final day of the 2009-10 season, as Chelsea won 8-0 to regain the Premier League title.

In August 2010, Matić, along with Slobodan Rajkovic and Matej Delač, was loaned to Dutch Eredivisie club Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan. On 31 January 2011, Matić signed for Portugese side Benfica as part of the deal that took Brazilian defender David Luiz in the opposite direction. Matić would join Benfica in the summer, upon the expiry of his season-long loan in Holland.


Matić made frequent appearances for the Lisbon side in his first season in Portugal, though often as substitute. He faced Chelsea for the first time in 2012, in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League quarter finals. He appeared as a second half substitute in the 1st leg, and played the full 90 minutes in the 2nd leg at Stamford Bridge. By January 2013 he was a mainstay of the side and one of their standout performers, and was rewarded with a contract extension until 2018. He faced his former club again in May 2013, this time in the UEFA Europa League Final, which the Blues won 2-1. At the end of the 2012-13 season he was voted Primeira Liga Player of the Year and had evolved into one of Europe's premier defensive midfielders. His impressive performances over the course of the season had led to rumours that Chelsea were interested in re-signing the Serbian international, despite having allowed him to leave the club two-and-a-half years earlier, albeit at a profit such was his value as part of the deal for David Luiz. [5] Defensive midfield remained an area of the squad in need of strengthening as the season progressed, with a returning Michael Essien's effectiveness somewhat diminished, and especially after summer signing Marco van Ginkel suffered a serious injury that would keep him out until well into 2014. In January 2014 rumours intensified that Matić was on the verge of a return to Stamford Bridge, with the midfielder reportedly keen to return, Kevin De Bruyne's imminent departure set to free up transfer funds and Benfica facing financial problems that necessitated player sales. [6] [7]

Chelsea (2014–)

On 15 January 2014 it was confirmed that Matić had signed a five-and-a-half year contract with Chelsea, a €25m (£20.8m) fee having been agreed with Benfica. [8]


Matić's debut for the national team of Serbia U-21 came in a match against Denmark U-21 on October 11, 2008 [9]. After three matches and two goals for the Serbia under-21 squad, he was called up to the Serbia first team and he made his debut in a friendly against Poland [10] on December 14, 2008. Matić took part in 2009 EURO U-21 Championship where he played 85 minutes in the first group match against Italy (0-0). Matić was injured after contact with Italian Giovinco. He broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and he had to undergo surgery [11].

In December 2012, Matić announced that he would not play for the Serbian national team as long as Siniša Mihajlović was the coach, after being regularly called up without making an appearance. However he did return under Mihajlović's tenure, returning to the national side for a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Croatia in September 2013. [12] He was sent off in the 75th minute.


Reserve Team Football

Season Total
Apps Goals
2009-10 11 1

First team

Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2009-10 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2013-14 17 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
2014-15 36 1 0 0 5 0 8 2 0 0 49 3
2015-16 33 2 3 0 1 0 5 0 1 0 43 2
2016-17 35 1 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 40 2
Total 123 4 9 1 8 0 13 2 1 0 154 7
Correct as of 21 July 2017


# Season Date Year Competition Opponent Score Result Venue
12014-1530 August2014Premier LeagueEverton4-26-3Goodison Park
22014-1530 September2014UEFA Champions LeagueSporting Lisbon1-01-0Estádio José Alvalade
32014-1505 November2014UEFA Champions LeagueMaribor1-11-1Ljudski vrt
42015-1612 September2015Premier LeagueEverton1-21-3Goodinson Park
52015-1607 May2016Premier LeagueSunderland2-12-3Stadium of Light
62016-1722 April2017FA CupTottenham Hotspur4-24-2Wembley Stadium
72016-1708 May2017Premier LeagueMiddlesbrough3-03-0Stamford Bridge


MFK Košice
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