The following is an English translation of an interview given by prospective signing Nemanja Matic to the Portuguese publication, A Bola:
Are you able to confirm that the match against FC Porto was your last in service to Benfica? -Yes, it was my last game. I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters. Benfica will be forever in my heart. I played here two and a half years, I gave my best in every practice, every game, and now is the right time to leave. I want to improve. I want to go to a better league and want to go to Chelsea, a club which I also love. I also thank the president of Benfica, who did everything he could to keep me here but I have wanted to leave and insisted on leaving. I respect the effort made ??to keep me at the club, he and all the people of Benfica were very good to me, made ??me happy, but I repeat that I insisted on leaving. The time is right.
How is your relationship with Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira, since he did not want you to leave? We have a perfect relationship because he is a good man and a good president, and very fond of club. He really tried everything to keep me, but my decision was made.
Do you think the fans will understand and respect your insistence to leave? I hope so sincerely. I have always given my best for the team, the club and the supporters. I hope they recognize that and understand my position and my desire.
Is true that on the eve of the match against FC Porto, you considered refusing to participate in order to put pressure on the move? – No. The only truth in this story is that I travelled a few hours later, I was authorized by the club to deal with personal problems and after that I went straight to Seixal. It never crossed my mind nor did any kind of threat. I just wanted to help the team win.