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Nikolic Nemanja: I was lucky in Chicago

Goodbye to the Chicago Fire after three years, Nemanja Nikolic spoke to the National Sports Team about the most beautiful moment, trailers and magic of number 23.

Photo: Imago Images

"When a period passes at a tense pace, if you focus every day on how to work properly, time will run out. They've been intense for three years. Only now, as I look back at the memories of Chicago, do I realize how much has happened to me in America. "

(Excerpt from a letter from Nicolai Nemanja in Chicago)


NIKOLIX does not think so
birth: December 31, 1987, Senta, Yugoslavia
post: offensive
National team / goals: 27/5
Clubs as a professional player: Barça (2006-2007), Kaposöaglje (2007), Ricky Capricorn (2008-2009), Videoton (2010-2015), Legia Warsaw (Polish, 2015-2016), Chicago Fire (USA 2017-)
Outstanding successes as a player: 2x Hungarian Champion (2011, 2015), Hungarian Super Cup Winner (2011), Hungarian League Cup Winner (2011), 2x Polish Champion (2016, 2017), Polish Cup Winner (2016)
Individual rewards: 3x Hungarian Goal King (2010, 2014, 2015), Polish Goal King (2016), American King Goalie (2017), Hungarian Footballer of the Year (2017), Hungarian Gold Ball (2017)

– Was it difficult to write a farewell letter?
– Heavy, yes – Starts exclusive interview on National Sports on his departure to Chicago next week Nikolic Nemanja. Those three years were beautiful, and I had many fond memories. In the letter I tried to get it back, and at the same time I wanted to thank the Chicagoans for getting so many of them. Football is incredibly important in my life, but there is one that is even more important: my family. After Tiana and Marko, our third child, Nia, was born here, and that will forever connect us with Chicago. When I threatened the US bid, I knew it was going to be a big leap, the biggest ever. We were far from home and had to get used to a new culture and new environment. It was not easy at first, but as time went on, we were shaking in our daily lives until we realized that it was here, and what's more, our lives went smoothly. I am proud of my wife and children, it is impossible to put into words what they have done for me or to focus solely on play. The bond between us used to be strong, but here it became stronger.

– What else did you get from those three years?
"Of course, I had the most beautiful moment when Nia came to the world." We were really waiting for it, and our family was full. Meanwhile, I had some unforgettable successes on the field. One of the most beautiful seasons of my career was two thousand and ten weeks. The blaze came into play-offs after a long time – when with a win over the San Jose Earthquakes it was decided that the season would not end for us, I drank a glass of wine with the good feeling that I was coming for it. Two weeks later, with a hat-trick against Philadelphia, I was convinced that I would finish the year as the top scorer – after Hungary and Poland in the third country. In addition, I became a goal scorer in a team that was not known for its offensive play. At Shekesfehérvar and Warsaw I was expected to score the most goals, not in Chicago. I don't boast about boasting, just to keep in mind: since I left Watch and Legion, no club managed to boast a goalkeeper. Nowhere is it easy to end up at the top of the scoreboard, that's the truth. The fact that I worked well in America is marked by numerous individual recognitions and records of decisions along with the title of best scorer. I'm a team mate, my team interests are clear to me, but as a striker, the main thing is to score. It depends on me how successful I am. Well, I wore the Fire T-shirt for a hundred and fifty-six goals.

– Are you satisfied with this?
– In my letter, I quote the Americans saying, "Do your job!" That is, do your job! I believe that what happened to me was done by those who believed me, I do not disappoint.

“The Hungarian drivers never left me, they listened to me, they followed me, they loved me. On the Internet, on TV, but from San Jose to Orlando, there was no place where I wouldn't see the Hungarian flag. This is what inspired me, because every time I realized I was representing Hungary, Hungarian football. "
(Excerpt from a letter from Nicolai Nemanja in Chicago)


Nelson Rodriguez, Chief Executive of Chicago Fire: – Nemanja was one of the best endorsers in the history of Fire, the best man, the best teammate. He never missed any opportunity to commend his companions. He was still positive when he didn't get the shot he wanted this season, but did his best for the team. Important people must always be replaced, but Nico will be tough.

Dax McCarthy, Chicago Fire captain: – In fact, it's impossible to say what a great teammate Nikolik Nemanja is. I'm a lucky man because I've managed to play some great strikers throughout my career, but Nico is definitely one of the best. I wish him nothing but health and happiness for his next adventure!

– What was the difference in the career of the chapter you just closed from the previous ones?
– I risked getting a contract in the United States. Although many were protesting, I had enough confidence to embark on the adventure. I had my goals, I wanted to show that I was standing here. Major League Soccer is different from NB I or Extraclass. I could go a long way in that, but let's stay in everything. I've been on the plane so many times in the three years I've slept in a hotel as many times in the same time zone as in my entire life. Really anything can happen in MLS. Also, if one team wins the championship, they will not qualify for the playoffs next season. Can you imagine Watching getting a gold medal this year and suffering in the lower house next year? In America, customs are different, rules are different, and I had to adjust to them as soon as possible. I think I succeeded.

– Can you say you made the right decision in December 2000?
– Very good! When someone signs up somewhere, no one knows, most can guess, correctly determined, it must take some time to find out. Although I had no doubt. From the first day I worked with honor, which was also due to the fact that during the three years I missed no training and no match, under all circumstances I could count on myself. Even when the car was going, even when it was shaking. Because there were, of course, low points. One time the performance of the team fell, other times my own, but I got in trouble. I tried to keep up the good and learn from the bad. Wherever I played, I was looking for the best in everything, even if I was a debtor with goals, looking for the purse until I found it. And while I grabbed it, I could get out of the pit.

– If they could supplement your letter as a post, how would they close the line?
– I wanted to set an example, I hope it did. I got into a great dressing room, great player, I'm glad to be your partner, friend. Thank you and you're happy in Chicago.

"The love I received from the Chicago audience from the day I arrived to my last game, I will never forget. You are huge, you deserve the Fire to reach the top! It is an honor to be with you, to drive for our mutual success. Happy birthday, happy future, Chicago! “
(Excerpt from a letter from Nicolai Nemanja in Chicago)

– What next?
"Nothing is certain except that I have no team on January 1." The key now is patience. We have been working with my manager Vladan Filipovic for eight years, so far we have made good decisions and I am convinced this time will be no different.

"When he announced in mid-June to our newspaper that he would say goodbye to Chicago at the end of the season, he didn't keep it a secret, that White Castle is a priority." Looking for Ferrari?
"See was the first club we negotiated with, but no agreement was reached." This does not mean that he will not, but in the present situation I will not return home.

– Can another Hungarian team appear?
– No! Besides Shekharvar, I got a lot from Kaposvar, so I'm glad Rikichi is back in the forefront, but at home I just want to play at Watch. If it fails, I'll notice. I'm not worried about that, because there is no concrete one yet, they are interested. For a long time I would not want to withdraw the decision, but I am still waiting for an opportunity that is really approaching.

– For example, would you be motivated to be a top scorer in the fourth country?
– But how much! I have never denied that achievement is important to me, but not the most important. I would not trade any trophy won by See or Legion for the sake of the kingdom. You see, what I have been sorry about for the last three years is that we failed to win anything with Fire.

"If you could bring something from Chicago, what the hell?"
– Well, now you have me … I got it! Shirt No. 23 When I arrived, I chose Michael Jordan to honor him, and I trusted him to bring him happiness just like See 17 and Legion 11. Thus, 23 as the city and the club became a key part of my career. But it's time to look for a new song.

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