Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has confirmed his retirement after he terminated his contract by mutual consent with Inter earlier this month.
“The time has come for me to hang up my boots,” Vidic said in a statement on United’s website. “The injuries I have had in the last few years have taken their toll.
“I would like to thank all the players I have played with, all the managers and staff I have worked with, and say a big thank you to the fans for their support over the years.”
The former Serbian international enjoyed a trophy-laden spell at Old Trafford which saw him form an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s success through the back end of the 2000s.
Having won five Premier League titles, three League Cups and the 2008 Champions League, the commanding centre-half wrote his name into the club’s history books as alongside Rio Ferdinand, the pair formed the base of a dominant side.
While injuries and dips in form eventually led to his exit in 2014, it wasn’t before Vidic had established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe.
However, those setbacks had taken their toll on him ahead of his arrival at Inter, and although the change in pace and fresh challenge was thought to be enough to reinvigorate the former United star, it didn’t work out as planned.
From his red card in his debut against Torino for sarcastically applauding the referee, to his costly error against Palermo a few weeks later that almost saw the Nerazzurri slip to a shock defeat.
Despite glimpses of his former self, Vidic was unable to recapture the old magic as he slowly lost his place in the side after the arrival of Roberto Mancini.
With the club signing Jeison Murillo and Miranda last summer, it seemed inevitable that the end was near for the Serbian defender as he was forced to consider his options. However, the ability to decide his future was ultimately taken from him as he suffered another back injury last August which required surgery.
After years of battling performances against the best strikers from around Europe, Vidic has now hung his boots up for the final time after what was a glittering career as he certainly won the hearts of the Old Trafford faithful.