The 27-year-old Chelsea defensive midfielder, Nemanja Matic has become a local hero in his home village by paying off his fellow villagers’ debts.
The 1988 born Serbian professional footballer was born and brought up in the village of Vrelo in western Serbia. The village reportedly has a population of just over 1600 people. Matic had started his professional football career at a Serbian club named FK Radnicki Obrenovac before being transferred to Red Star Belgrade.
The defensive midfielder was bought by the London club back in 2009 for around 1.5 million pounds before being sold to Benfica and then again from the same in 2014 for 21 million pounds.
Nemanja Matic true to his roots
According to the villagers of Vrelo, Matic has not forgotten his roots and has become an example in his country by financially helping his villagers constantly, year in and year out.
As per his fellow villagers, the Blues man has paid off the tabs or debts at the local store and has contributed money for repairs to be made at the elementary school that he himself had attended time and again.
As stated by the local store attendant Liljana Popovic, "The first thing that Nemanja does when he gets here is to visit the local store where he asks for the list of debts of the local people who only buy basic products, and he pays for everything, for everybody."
Bosko Saric, the principal of the village elementary school has added, “Nemanja funded the playground for the children and says he will continue in summer. He plans to bring mobile baskets, goals, and balls, as well as sports equipment."
The villagers have also revealed that the Serbian midfielder has even settled gambling debts of his acquaintances in certain instances and has financed the construction of the settlement’s drinking fountain in front of the local church.
The Serbian’s performance in the current season
The defending Premier League champions have had a dismal league outing this season as they currently languish at the 10th position in the league table with nine more matches to go.
The Serbian defensive midfielder has started in 27 matches for the Blues this season in all competitions and has found the back of the net once. He had also made six appearances as a substitute for Chelsea during the current season.