Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has played his final game for the club at Old Trafford and will leave for free at the end of the current campaign
Nemanja Matic has revealed a word of wisdom from Cristiano Ronaldo convinced him to give the Manchester United fans a lap of appreciation after the 3-0 win over Brentford last Monday.
The Serbian is set to leave the Red Devils when his contract expires in the summer after five years at the club. Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Phil Jones and Edinson Cavani are also expected to depart United.
With United’s fixture with Chelsea moved due to the Blues’ participation in the FA Cup final on Saturday, the clash with the Bees was the Red Devils’ final home game of the season. The entire squad usually do a lap of honour to the supporters following their final match at Old Trafford.
However, Matic has admitted he would have preferred to head straight down the tunnel at full-time. Ronaldo intervened and told him to applaud the fans for their support throughout the season.
“I feel great and it’s really great to say goodbye to the club and the fans in such a wonderful way. There were 75,000 people in the stands,” he told K1 Televizija.
“I wanted to leave a mark in that club, after Nemanja Vidic, who was the first to do so. But everything that is beautiful has an end. I tried to brighten the face of all people in Serbia with my game, and I hope that someone from our region will continue this tradition.
“I wanted to get off the field as soon as possible, because I don’t like to have something revolving around me and to be in the centre of attention, but Ronaldo told me ‘Wait, what are you doing? Come back’. It is a great honour to share a dressing room with him every day.
“I don’t like to talk about myself, it should be done by others, and nowadays, because of the internet and new technologies, with one click you can find out everything about what I did and what I achieved.”
Matic has been one of United’s best performers in recent weeks despite the inconsistent results. He received a standing ovation when he was taken off in the win over Brentford, while he was also impressive as they drew 1-1 against Chelsea last month.
During his time at Old Trafford, Matic has clocked over 150 appearances and helped the club to the FA Cup final and the Europa League final, although they lost on both occasions. The 33-year-old will now be looking for a new club in the summer.