New Nemanja Matic interview!
This interview appeared originally on the Official Chelsea Website.
Nemanja Matic expresses his love for Serbia and his desire to travel the world in our latest feature asking players about their country and others...
What characteristics define your country?
It’s the best country! Home is home, I was born there and all my family and friends are there. I like to go there because in Serbia you have four seasons, and I like that. I like to see everything.
The people are very nice and welcome you in a good way. We are a proud nation.
Where’s your favourite place in your country?
I don’t have any specific favourite place but I like to go to my village where I was born. This is where I can be relaxed and do what I want. There are a lot of good places to go in Serbia and I like to visit them all.
And where would you like to go in your country that you’ve never been?
When I finish my career I want to go to Kopaonik. It’s a mountain. I have never been there apart from one pre-season.
It’s good for skiing and hiking and I want to use time when I am retired to visit it. I’ve heard it’s very nice. In the winter lots of people go there, and I recommend everyone go there if they have the chance.
What sports are popular, other than football?
Basketball, volleyball, water polo, handball. The ones with balls! In the last 10 years tennis too, because of the success of Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.
Also athletics, we have some good people there. Serbia likes sport a lot.
Where in the world would you like to go to where you’ve never been?
I really don’t know! Maybe to Brazil. I have been there but only with a team. For sure when I retire I will try to spend time to travel with my family.
What language would you like to speak?
Russian. I have learned Slovakian, Portuguese and English, but if I could choose one language to speak I would like to speak Russian, or maybe Italian because it sounds nice. Many people speak Russian and I don’t think it would be too difficult for me because it’s similar to Serbian.
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent away from home?
I think it was six months when I played in Portugal. I didn’t play for the national team and that was the longest. It was okay because I was with my wife and my son in Portugal but if I was alone it would be harder.
When was the first time you left Serbia…?
When I was 18 and I went to Slovakia to sign for Kosice. I had travelled a little before then but very near my home. Slovakia was my first big trip.
Chelsea first signed Matic from MFK Kosice in August 2009. It is the second largest city in Slovakia after Bratislava and its main church, the St Elisabeth Cathedral (above), is the largest in the country.
Where do you see yourself maybe living when you finish playing football?
I don’t know what I’m going to do. It depends on my kids and where they want to be in school, and where I finish my career. I’m sure one day I will go back to Serbia though.