Manchester United star Nemanja Matic has opened up about what it means to have qualified for the World Cup with Serbia, revealing that there was a tonne of pressure on their shoulders.
The talented midfielder featured in his nation’s first match against Costa Rica and they managed to just about crawl over the finish line with all three points.
Matic will surely be hoping to lead the European country as far as he can despite Jose Mourinho’s desire to see them get knocked out in order for him to get a holiday.
There’s a real need for the Serbian to remain uninjured as he’s so crucial to the Portuguese manager’s plans and the desperation for a holiday is understood as he barely missed a match for United last season.
Mourinho is likely looking to partner the former Chelsea man alongside Paul Pogba and new signing Fred in a midfield three that could potentially be key in the club’s bid for the Premier League title next season.
According to the club’s official website, Nemanja said: “We had a lot of pressure before this qualification, as we didn’t go to Brazil [for the 2014 World Cup] or the last European championship.
“So there was a lot of pressure on us and it was very important for us to go there directly. We did it and I was very happy. It was emotional for me and my team-mates and I’m happy we will represent our country in Russia.
“It’s very nice for our people. I think we will have our chance but we have to do our best, prepare very well and we will see. It is difficult to say [what our chances of progression are].
“Of course we are working very hard on everything, but there will be a lot of great quality in the tournament. But we are positive. There is a long way to go but I am always positive.”
Matic is widely regarded as Mourinho’s most trusted player and there’s no surprise that’s the case given how he consistently churns out good performances, rarely having a bad game as well as instantly replacing Michael Carrick.