Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic feels he owes his career success to Champions League opponents Benfica.

Matic is set to face Benfica in the Champions League tomorrow night and the 29-year-old has paid tribute to the Portuguese outfit ahead of the Group A clash.

He said: “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.

“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.

“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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