United Star Nemanja Matic Credits His Days at Benfica to Development

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Tonight will see Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic face his former side Benfica in a UEFA Champions League group stage clash in Lisbon. Matic has a been a very solid addition for the Red Devils this season, coming over from Chelsea, where he played under current United manager Jose Mourinho, as the last summer transfer window signing for the club.

Former United manager David Moyes claimed a few days ago that he tried to bring Matic to United in 2013, but failed and had to settle for Marouane Fellaini.

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Matic, who has appeared in all eight Premier League games for United this season, scored six goals in 56 appearances for Benfica during his time with the Primeira Liga side from 2011-14. In an interview with United’s official website, he credited his former club as being a major part of his career development.

“When I first came to Benfica, the manager Jorge Jesus told me on my first day I would be playing as a No 6 or as a defensive midfielder,” Matic told ManUtd.com.

“At the beginning, it was strange for me because I didn’t know I could play that position but, slowly, I trained with the team and the manager explained to me how to do it, and after a lot of hard work, now, I’m at Manchester United, so I must have done the job well!”

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“It’s a special club, a club that I love. At Benfica, I learnt a lot about football and about the pressure of playing for a big club, because they are one of the best clubs in Europe.

“I will support them for the rest of my life and they will have a special place in my heart but, in the Champions League, I hope we can take points from them.”

Obviously, Nemanja Matic is a fan of Benfica, on any other night when that his current club isn’t playing them.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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