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Nemanja Vidic

Nemanja Vidić (Serbian Cyrillic alphabet: Немања Видић, ; born 21 October 1981 in Užice, Socialist Republic of Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Serbian association football who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United F.C. and for the Serbia national football team.

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Nemanja Vidic biography

Nemanja Vidić (Serbian Cyrillic alphabet: Немања Видић, ; born 21 October 1981 in Užice, Socialist Republic of Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Serbian association football who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United F.C. and for the Serbia national football team.

Club career

Early years

Nemanja Vidić was born to Dragoljub, a now-retired copper factory worker, and Zora, a bank clerk. Vidić took up football at seven years of age, alongside Nemanja Vidic older brother Dušan, with local side FK Jedinstvo Putevi. Nemanja Vidic progressed quickly, and moved to FK Sloboda Užice at the age of 12.

Red Star and Spartak Moscow

Two and a half years later, before Nemanja Vidic 15th birthday, Red Star Belgrade signed Vidić to their youth system. Nemanja Vidic started Nemanja Vidic senior career on a season-long loan (football) at FK Spartak Subotica in 2000. Nemanja Vidic moved back to Red Star Belgrade after the loan deal ended, playing regularly in the top-flight Serbian Superliga. Nemanja Vidic won the 2001–02 Yugoslav Cup with Red Star. Vidić quickly gained the captain's armband, and during Nemanja Vidic three years as captain, Nemanja Vidic scored 12 goals in 67 matches, and ended Nemanja Vidic Red Star Belgrade career on a high note by leading the club to a domestic double. Nemanja Vidic won the 2004 Serbia and Montenegro League and Serbian Cup trophies with Red Star Belgrade, and in July 2004, Nemanja Vidic joined Russian Premier League side FC Spartak Moscow. The details of the transfer were not revealed although it was reported that Vidić became the most expensive defender in the history of the Russian Premier League.

Manchester United

After playing two seasons at FC Spartak Moscow, Vidić signed for Manchester United for a reported fee of around £7 million on 5 January 2006; two and a half years after Manchester United's reported interest in him. Nemanja Vidic was assigned the number 15 shirt and made Nemanja Vidic debut for Manchester United as a substitute for Ruud van Nistelrooy in the dying minutes of Manchester United's 2–1 win in the Football League Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn Rovers F.C. on 25 January 2006.

During the FA Premier League 2006–07 season, Vidić formed a partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the centre of defence, which has since become one of the most prominent partnerships in English football, and has become an established first team player. In Nemanja Vidic first full season playing for Manchester United, Nemanja Vidic made 25 appearances in the Premier League and ended the season winning Nemanja Vidic first league medal.

Vidić scored Nemanja Vidic first ever goal for Manchester United on 14 October 2006 against Wigan Athletic F.C.; United won 3–1. Nemanja Vidic scored Nemanja Vidic second goal in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth F.C. on 4 November, Nemanja Vidic first goal at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium. Nemanja Vidic scored Nemanja Vidic first UEFA Champions League goal for Manchester United against S.L. Benfica on 6 December in the group stages, a match which Manchester United won 3–1.

On 8 November 2007, Vidić signed a two-year contract extension, keeping Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United until 2012. At the end of the Premier League 2007–08, Nemanja Vidic earned Nemanja Vidic second consecutive Premier League 2007–08 medal. Nemanja Vidic was also a part of the squad which won the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final versus Chelsea F.C.—his first European medal. During Manchester United F.C. season 2007–08, Nemanja Vidic made 32 league appearances and scored one goal.

During the 2008-09 season, Vidić has been a pivotal part of the United defence in the absence of a number of other defenders during various parts of the season. Nemanja Vidic started every match in the British Football League-record run of 14 consecutive shutout in Premier League matches. Towards the end of the 2008–09 season, Vidić was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, along with another four Manchester United players; Nemanja Vidic was considered the favourite to receive the accolade that was later awarded to Nemanja Vidic fellow team-mate Ryan Giggs. Vidić was later named as the Manchester United fans' player of the year and players' player of the year, taking over from Cristiano Ronaldo, who won both awards in 2007–08.

Praised for Nemanja Vidic aggressive no-nonsense defensive style, Vidić is now recognised as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and in Europe. Nicknamed Vida by Nemanja Vidic Manchester United teammates, Nemanja Vidic is highly regarded for Nemanja Vidic physical presence, heading ability in both defence and at attacking Set piece (football), as well as Nemanja Vidic bravery. Because of this, Nemanja Vidic enjoys a cult status among United faithful and is often compared to former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce for having similar characteristics.

International career

A Yugoslavian youth international, Nemanja Vidic made Nemanja Vidic senior debut on 12 October 2002 against Italy national football team in UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying. Vidić was part of the Serbian and Montenegrin national team's "Famous Four" defence, alongside Mladen Krstajić, Ivica Dragutinović and Goran Gavrančić, that conceded just one goal during the ten 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) Group 7 matches, setting a new record for the fewest goals conceded. Vidić played a major part in the last qualification game, against Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team. Serbia and Montenegro won 1–0 and secured qualification, despite Vidić picking up a penalty card Red card five minutes before the end. and on 12 June 2006 Nemanja Vidic injured Nemanja Vidic left knee ligaments during training and Nemanja Vidic did not play any games at the 2006 World Cup. After the 2006 World Cup, Vidić went on to represent the national team, now independent as the Serbia national football team.

Individual honours

Vidić won Serbia's Overseas Player of the Year award for 2005, playing for Spartak Moscow, a poll of the captains of the 16 clubs in the Serbian Superliga that is organized annually (the first award was given in 1996) by daily newspaper Večernje Novosti. Nemanja Vidic was once again the recipient of the award for 2007 and 2008, this time playing for Manchester United. The executive committee of the Football Association of Serbia named Nemanja Vidic Player of the year for 2005 and 2008. Nemanja Vidic was named in the FA Premier League 2006–07, Premier League 2007–08 and Premier League 2008–09 PFA Team of the Year. In addition, Nemanja Vidic was shortlisted for the 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008-09 UEFA Club Football Awards and was also shortlisted for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 FIFPro World XI World XI player award and also for the 2008 Ballon d'Or award. Vidić was named Premier League Player of the Month for January 2009. Nemanja Vidic was also named Barclays Player of the Season for 2008-09.

Personal life

On 17 July 2006, Vidić married Ana Ivanović, an economics student at the University of Belgrade (no relation to the Ana Ivanović). Together, they have a son named Luka.


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