Nemanja Matić’s farewell: ‘The Wolf’ in training, Hannibal Mejbri & Man United “will be back”

Nemanja Matić is leaving Manchester United in the summer, ending a five year chapter of his career. The 33 year old recently did a farewell interview with club media where he looks back fondly on his time at the club.

The interview starts with Matić recounting how he felt being unveiled as a United player in July 2017 which he says:

“My birthday is 1 August, so I thought it was a nice birthday present. A few days before that, when I knew I was signing for United, I was very excited. My family also: we knew that United is a big club and I couldn’t wait to see the training ground.”

Nine days after being announced as an official Manchester United player, Matić would make his first competitive appearance for the club in the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in Macedonia.

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“It was great to have a debut against Real Madrid. I wasn’t happy that we lost 2-1 but it was a nice day for me. I made my debut close to my country, close to Serbia. There was many of my friends there that day in the stadium.”

This was the first of 189 games for the Serbian at the centre of United’s midfield, which ranks him 58th on the all time appearances list for the Red Devils.

During this long tenure at Old Trafford the veteran midfielder has been under the management of: José Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Michael Carrick and lastly, Ralf Rangnick. “From every manager I had, I learned a lot.” The experienced midfielder explained.

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“He’s a fantastic person,” Matic spoke on his former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who he spent three years under. “He was my manager but I can say now that he’s my friend. I learned a lot from him. It was a good experience to be with him… I had a great time with him.”

One of the reasons why the Serbian veteran was ever present in and around the United squad was his intensity in training. Matic was shown a photo of his training team which consisted of: Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial.

“What a team! Yeah, they will miss me. I always try to put the pressure on before we start to play. I always say that I’m the champion, I’m the winner so they have extra motivation against me, to kick me!”

This dedication and competitiveness towards training has led United’s No. 31 picking up the nickname “the Wolf” as he was known to cheat and win at all costs.

The hunger and desire to win is one of the main reasons why the midfielder has had a long and successful career. Although his is winding down, many are just starting at United and Nemanja is excited about the club’s future.

Anthony [Elanga] already played many games this season, so he showed he has quality for this club. In the future he will be important, for sure.

Also, I have to say that Hannibal is a fantastic player. Great character. The talent he has, he needs to use that. I really want to see him in the future and how he will grow.”

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Speaking on his future beyond the summer, Matic explained that he is still considering the different possibilities: “I haven’t decided yet. Let’s finish the season and in June probably I will decide my future. All options are open for me and let’s see. I don’t know.”

Unfortunately, Matic will leave United without lifting silverware for the club. However, he still believes that there is a bright future at Old Trafford, and urges the fans to continue with their great support.

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I know that we had a couple of difficult seasons but I just want them to know that us at the training ground, we’re doing our best and United will come back, for sure.

It’s going to take some time but United will be back and just keep supporting the team. Stay together.”

For five years Nemanja Matić was an unquestioning servant for Manchester United during a difficult period period for the club.

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