Former Internazionale, Manchester United and Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic has announced his retirement from football because of injury, it's been confirmed.
Manchester United took to Twitter to thank Vidic for his contributions to the club, having made 300 appearances for United. He earned 56 international caps:
The official Manchester United website also provided a statement from the former Red Devils centre-back, who decided to hang up his boots at the age of 34:
The time has come for me to hang up my boots. 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.
Vidic won five Premier League titles, a Champions League crown, the FIFA Club World Cup and more with United, with whom he stayed for eight years after arriving from Spartak Moscow in 2006.
The defender's last club was Inter, whom he left earlier in January after failing to establish himself under Nerazzurri boss Roberto Mancini. Vidic played in 28 matches for Inter during his first season at the San Siro, but after having surgery on a hernia in August, he failed to make another appearance for the club.
The ex-Manchester United captain left Old Trafford in 2014 alongside long-term centre-back partner Rio Ferdinand, departures from which one might say the club are yet to recover.
ESPN FC's John Brewin reinforced that sentiment, acknowledging how much a player of his style would be appreciated in Louis van Gaal's current squad:
Vidic the type of leader Manchester United need right now. Mind you, Louis van Gaal would have him playing on the right wing.— John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) January 29, 2016
According to Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, his career at the Theatre of Dreams was also set in the right direction by the fact he rejected Liverpool to head there, instantly enamouring the United supporters:
Vidic one of the last great bargain Fergie buys. Improved not just Ferdinand but #mufc defence. Helped he rejected Liverpool, too.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) January 29, 2016
Vidic began his professional career with Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia, climbing the ranks in eastern Europe before making the switch to England in 2006.
There, he cemented his status as one of the best defenders in Europe, and many Manchester United fans will appreciate it's no coincidence his time at the club fell in line with one of its most prolific eras.