MATIC TALKS ABOUT HIS INCREDIBLE RISE FROM PLAYING FOOTBALL IN HIS VILLAGE TO BEING A CHELSEA STAR

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Everyone has a story, and for Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, some years ago he was back in his village playing local football, before he rose to stardom at Chelsea.

He spoke about his journey to the top with Chelsea magazine.

Playing for his village team, Matic impressed in a game against Obrenovac, a side from a nearby town, and it was a performance which really kick-started his career.

“Their football academy was one of the best in Yugoslavia,” he tells Chelsea magazine. “We played against them and lost 5-0 but the coach then found the telephone number of my home and he called my father to ask if I would go there to train, but I didn’t want to go from my village. I wanted to stay there.

“After a while, when I grew up a little bit, I realised the team in my village was not that good. We didn’t have a good league so I went to that team in Obrenovac and after that it was easier for me. From there, I went to Red Star Belgrade, which is the biggest club in Serbia.”

A lack of opportunity at both Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade meant Matic went in search of regular football in the Serbian third division, before moving on.

“We were top of the table, but I played only six months there before an agent saw me in one game and asked me to go on trial to a team from the Slovakian first division called Kosice.

“I said “Why not?” I was only playing Serbian third division at that time. So I left to go to Slovakia, where my coach was Jan Kozac, who is now manager of the Slovakian national team.

“He saw me when I spent seven days with the team and he said: “This player needs to stay,” so I signed a contract.”

Matic was then spotted by a Chelsea scout while playing for Serbia Under-21s, and after an initial spell at Stamford Bridge, he left on loan to Vitesse Arnhem, before moving on to Benfica, and was then signed again by former manager Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2013.

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.