Nemanja Nikolić (footballer, born 1987)

Nemanja Nikolić (Serbian Cyrillic: Немања Николић [němaɲa nǐkolitɕ]; Hungarian: Nikolics Nemanja; born 31 December 1987) is a Yugoslav-born Hungarian footballer who last played as a striker for Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire. Born in Serbia, but never selected for the Serbian national team, he chose to represent the Hungarian national team instead.[2][3]

Nemanja Nikolić
CINvCHI 2017-06-28 - Nemanja Nikolić (39393300370) (cropped).jpg
Nikolić with the Chicago Fire in 2017
Personal information
Full name Nemanja Nikolić
Date of birth (1987-12-31) 31 December 1987 (age 32)
Place of birth Senta, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Chicago Fire
Number 23
Youth career
1996–2006 Senta
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Barcs 19 (3)
2007–2008 Kaposvölgye 14 (11)
2008–2010 Kaposvár 49 (30)
2010–2015 Videoton 149 (87)
2015–2016 Legia Warsaw 56 (40)
2016–2019 Chicago Fire 96 (51)
National team
2013–2018 Hungary 27 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 October 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 27 March 2018

Early lifeEdit

Nikolić was born in Senta, Yugoslavia to a Serbian father and a Hungarian mother. He began his career with his brother at FK Senta.

Club careerEdit

KaposvárEdit

 
Nikolić with Videoton in 2010

On 7 February 2008 Nikolić was signed by Kaposvár. He played his first match against Videoton. He managed to score thirty goals in just 49 matches therefore many top Hungarian sides wanted to sign him such as Újpest, Ferencváros and Videoton.

VideotonEdit

In 2010 Videoton signed Nikolić. He became top scorer in the 2009-10 season of the Hungarian League.[4][5]

Nikolić won the 2010-11 season of the Hungarian League with Videoton. With the arrival of the Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa he was often left out from the first squad in the early matches of the 2011-12 season of the Hungarian League. However, as a substitute he managed to score against Paks, Siófok (twice), Újpest (twice) and Pápa in a row in the Hungarian League.

On 2 August 2012, Nikolić scored the only goal of the first leg of the third round of the Europa league 2012-13 season, when Videoton beat the Belgian KAA Gent 1–0 at the Sóstói Stadion.[6] He also scored in the second leg of the tie which was won by 3–0 by Videoton at the Jules Ottenstadion.[7] On 4 September 2012, he scored a goal in the Europa league 2012-13 season when Videoton beat Portugal's Sporting CP 3-0 at Stadion Sóstói.[8][9]

On 26 October 2014, Nikolić set a new record scoring in 12 consecutive league matches in the 2014–15 season.[10]

Legia WarsawEdit

On 8 June 2015, Nikolić joined Ekstraklasa club, Legia Warsaw.[11] On 19 July 2015, Nikolić debuted in the 2015-16 season of the Ekstraklasa by scoring two goals against Śląsk Wrocław at the Stadion Miejski, Wrocław.[12] On 16 March 2016 Nikolic scored a hat-trick against Zawisza Bydgoszcz at the Pepsi Arena, Warsaw. The match ended with a 4–0 win for Legia Warsaw.[13] On 15 May 2016 Legia became champions of the 2015–16 Ekstraklasa season by beating Pogoń Szczecin 3–0 at home. He was the top scorer of the 2015–16 Ekstraklasa season, scoring 28 goals in 37 matches.[14]

Chicago FireEdit

Nikolić joined the Chicago Fire as a Designated Player for a reported transfer fee of $3 million from Legia Warsaw on 20 December 2016 on a three-year deal worth reportedly $1.9 million per year, per MLS Players Union documents.[15][16]

Speaking on the transfer, in a press release by the club, Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez stated "Through this transfer, we have secured a champion in his prime, and one of the most prolific goal scorers in Europe over the last few years".[17]

Fire coach Veljko Paunović noted his awareness of Nikolić from an early age from his time in Serbia. In an article published by the Fire Paunović praised Nikolić's skillset:

“His quality is scoring goals and assisting, but then he’s a man that can participate in both phases of team play,” Paunovic said. “He’s very good in all phases of the game. Defensively, he helps the team to recover the ball as soon as possible in order that we can control the game and create opportunities for our team to win. Sometimes he will benefit from team play and he will be just the executor, but sometimes he’s capable of creating his own situations in the game, the opportunities 1v1, and scoring his own goals.[18]

2017 SeasonEdit

Nikolić's high career strike-rate continued with the Fire, where he became an instant success - leading the league in scoring and acquiring numerous accolades through the first half of the season, and ultimately winning the 2017 MLS Golden Boot.[19][20] His first goal for the club came in the Fire's 2017 home opener against Real Salt Lake, in which he scored an unassisted effort in the 11th minute.[21]

Nikolić was named to the MLS Team of the Week in week 7 alongside fellow Fire forward Luis Solignac.[22] He was additionally selected as MLS player of the week in week 7.[23]

He was once again chosen for team of the week in week 11 for his brace in Chicago's 4–1 win against the reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders.[24]

With 10 goals through the first 11 games of the season, Nikolić led the league in scoring. With his brace against the Colorado Rapids on 16 May, he became the first Fire player to score in four straight games since Mike Magee in 2013.[25] This brace once again earned him MLS Team of the Week honors.[26]

After week 15 Nikolić continued to lead the league in scoring, with 12 goals in 15 games. He was named to the week 15 Team of the Week for his goal against Atlanta United in Chicago's 2–0 home win alongside Fire players Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Accam, and João Meira.[27]

He was named MLS Player of the Month for May for his six goals and one assist during the Fire's undefeated run during the stretch.[28]

A week after Fire teammate David Accam was named player of the week for week 17 for his hat-trick against Orlando City SC, Nikolić earned the same honor on 3 July for his brace against the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was the second time he won the award (the first time in week 7 as noted above). After week 18 Nikolić continued to lead the MLS Golden Boot race with 16 goals in 18 matches.[29]

Alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger Nikolić was named to the "2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI".[30] Nikolic finished the 2017 season as the Golden Boot winner with 24 goals and 4 assists.

2018 SeasonEdit

Nikolić finished the 2018 season as the Fire's top scorer, finishing seventh in scoring league-wide, with 15 goals and 2 assists.[31]

International careerEdit

On 11 October 2013, Nikolić debuted in the Hungary national football team against the Netherlands in an 8–1 defeat at the Amsterdam Arena in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification.[32][33] On 14 October 2013 Nikolić scored his first goal in the national team against Andorra in the 51st minute.[34][35] His second goal was recorded as an own goal by Lima.

On 18 November 2014, Nikolić scored against Russia in a 2–1 defeat in a friendly match at the Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary.[36]

Nikolić was called up to Hungary's squad for UEFA Euro 2016.[37] On 18 June 2016 he played in a 1–1 draw against Iceland at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille in which his run and far post drive was re-directed in by Iceland for the last minute equalizer.[38]

On 3 May 2018, Nikolić announced his retirement from the national team.[39]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of 7 October 2019[14][40]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcs 2006–07 19 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 3
Total 19 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 3
Kaposvölgye 2007–08 14 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 11
Total 14 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 11
Kaposvár 2007–08 12 4 5 2 4 2 0 0 21 8
2008–09 22 16 3 1 5 7 0 0 30 24
2009–10 15 10 3 1 0 0 0 0 18 11
Total 49 30 11 4 9 9 0 0 69 43
Videoton 2009–10 15 8 1 1 3 1 0 0 19 10
2010–11 24 8 7 5 2 0 2 0 35 13
2011–12 30 19 6 4 10 7 1 0 47 30
2012–13 27 13 5 5 7 5 12 4 51 27
2013–14 28 18 1 0 3 1 2 0 34 19
2014–15 25 21 4 3 0 0 0 0 29 24
Total 149 87 24 18 25 14 17 4 215 123
Legia Warsaw 2015–16 37 28 7 6 1 0 10 2 55 36
2016–17 19 12 1 1 0 0 11 6 31 19
Total 56 40 8 7 1 0 21 8 86 55
Chicago Fire 2017 34 24 2 0 1 0 0 0 37 24
2018 31 15 4 4 0 0 0 0 35 19
2019 31 12 1 1 0 0 0 0 32 13
Total 96 51 7 5 1 0 0 0 104 56
Career totals 383 222 50 34 36 23 38 12 507 291

InternationalEdit

Hungary national team
Season Apps Goals
2013 2 1
2014 8 1
2015 6 1
2016 7 0
2017 2 2
2018 2 0
Total 27 5

Hungary score listed first, score column indicates score after each Nikolić goal.

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 15 October 2013 Ferenc Puskás Stadium, Budapest, Hungary   Andorra
1–0
2–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 18 November 2014 Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary   Russia
1–2
1–2
Friendly
3. 5 June 2015 Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen, Hungary   Lithuania
3–0
4–0
4. 9 November 2017 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg   Luxembourg
1–1
1–2
5. 14 November 2017 Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary   Costa Rica
1–0
1–0

HonoursEdit

ClubEdit

Videoton

Legia Warsaw

IndividualEdit

Personal lifeEdit

On 28 January 2011, Nikolić obtained Hungarian citizenship. András Cser-Palkovics, mayor of Székesfehérvár said that "We know about him that he knows the country, speaks the language since he has big plans with Videoton this year". Nikolić said that "I knew that it is not easy to obtain Hungarian citizenship but I hoped that due to the fact that my mother is Hungarian it would be easier but it turned out to be a bit more difficult."[53]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Nikolics Nemanja - vidi.hu". Vidi.hu. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  2. ^ Ексклузивно, Немања Николић, репрезентативац Мађарске: Нико ме из ФСС није гледао!. zurnal.rs (in Serbian). 20 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  3. ^ Jovanović, Jovan. "Priča dana Mađarski reprezentativac Nemanja Nikolić otvorio dušu za "Sport"". sport.rs (in Serbian). Dnevni list Sport. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Nikolić thriving in Videoton spotlight". UEFA. 6 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Season review: Hungary". UEFA. 9 July 2010.
  6. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2012–13: Videoton 1–0 KAA Gent". UEFA. 2 August 2012.
  7. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2012–13: KAA Gent 0–3 Videoton". UEFA. 9 August 2012.
  8. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2012–13: Paulo Sousa's Videoton stun Sporting". UEFA. 4 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Europa League round-up: Lazio and Inter win, but Napoli defeated". BBC Sport. 4 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Nikolics Európa-rekorder! A DVTK és az otthon kapott hármasok". Nemzeti Sport. 27 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Nemanja Nikolić piłkarzem Legii [Nemanja Nikolić is a Legia player]" (in Polish). 8 June 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Śląsk Wrocław 1-4 Legia Warsaw". UEFA.com. 19 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Legia Warsaw 4-0 Zawisza Bydgoszcz". UEFA.com. 16 March 2016.
  14. ^ a b "N. Nikolics". Soccerway.com. 16 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Baller on a budget: Nemanja Nikolic is the best forward in MLS right now". Fourfourtwo.com. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Nikolić odchodzi z Legii - Legia Warszawa". Legia.com.
  17. ^ "Chicago Fire Sign Nemanja Nikolic as Designated Player". Chicago-fire.com. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Paunovic: Nikolic brings class and "highest expectations" to Chicago Fire". Chicago-firec.om. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Fire's Nemanja Nikolic leading MLS in goals, and taking the league by storm". Mlssoccer.com. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  20. ^ https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2017/10/22/chicago-fire-striker-nemanja-nikolic-wins-2017-mls-golden-boot
  21. ^ "Chicago Fire Victorious in Home Opener 2-0 Against Real Salt Lake". Chicago-fire.com. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  22. ^ "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 7): Sporting KC recognized after another big win". Mlssoccer.com. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Chicago Fire's Nemanja Nikolic voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Week". Mlssoccer.com. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  24. ^ "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 11): Fire, Union feature after statement wins". Mlssoccer.com. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Chicago Fire 3, Colorado Rapids 0 - 2017 MLS Match Recap". Mlssoccer.com. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  26. ^ "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 12): Superstars, and Men in Red, shine". Mlssoccer.com. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  27. ^ "2017 Team of the Week (Wk 15): Portland Timbers impress in shutout win". Mlssoccer.com. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Chicago FW Nemanja Nikolic voted Alcatel MLS Player of the Month for May". Mlssoccer.com. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Chicago Fire's Nemanja Nikolic wins Week 18 Alcatel MLS Player of the Week". Mlssoccer.com. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Nikolic, Schweinsteiger Named to 2017 MLS All-Star Fan XI Presented by Target". Chicago-fire.com. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  31. ^ "By Season". www.mlssoccer.com. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  32. ^ "FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualification: Netherlands 8-1 Hungary". Fifa.com. 11 October 2013.
  33. ^ "Eight-goal Oranje dent Hungary hopes". Fifa.com. 11 October 2013.
  34. ^ "FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualification: Hungary 2-0 Andorra". Fifa.com. 15 October 2013.
  35. ^ "Hungarian victory to no avail". Fifa.com. 15 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Hungary 1-2 Russia". Eurosport. 18 November 2014.
  37. ^ "Hungary on the offensive with EURO squad". UEFA.com. 31 May 2016.
  38. ^ "UEFA Euro 2016: Iceland 1–1 Hungary". UEFA.com.
  39. ^ "Válogatott: Nikolics Nemanja nem játszik többet a nemzeti csapatban!" (in Hungarian). Nemzeti Sport.com. 3 May 2018.
  40. ^ "HLSZ". Hlsz.hu. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  41. ^ "Legia Warszawa: Ekstraklasa 2015-16".
  42. ^ "Legia Warszawa win Polish Cup". Thenews.pl. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  43. ^ "OTP Bank Liga Top Goalscorers 2009/10". Soccervista.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  44. ^ "OTP Bank Liga Góllövőlista 2013/14" (in Hungarian).
  45. ^ "OTP Bank Liga Top Goalscorers 2014/15". Soccervista.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  46. ^ "Strzelcy" (in Polish).
  47. ^ "Nikolić piłkarzem miesiąca sierpnia Ekstraklasy 2015" (in Polish).
  48. ^ "PIŁKARZ MIESIĄCA: NEMANJA NIKOLIĆ!" (in Polish).
  49. ^ "Hat-trick Nikolicia!" (in Polish).
  50. ^ a b c nemzetisport.hu (2016-05-16). "Légiósok: Nikolics három egyéni díjat is besöpört - NSO" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  51. ^ a b "2017 MLS Best XI revealed: Who was the best in 2017?". MLS Soccer. 30 November 2017.
  52. ^ https://www.chicago-fire.com/post/2018/01/11/nikolic-named-best-hungarian-footballer-2018-m4-sport-gala. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  53. ^ "Nikolics Nemanja letette az állampolgársági esküt". Nemzeti Sport. 28 January 2011.

External linksEdit