Sporting Kansas City signed defensive midfielder Nemanja Radoja on Oct. 26, 2022, after eight seasons in Spain's top-flight league La Liga.
A Novi Sad, Serbia native, Radoja anchored the midfield for Serbian club Vojvodina before launching his career in Spain. His La Liga journey began at Celta Vigo in 2014 where he helped the club reach the semifinals of the Copa del Rey twice and secure a spot in the UEFA Europa League semifinals before departing after the 2018-19 campaign. He went on to join fellow La Liga club Levante where he scored in a 3-1 upset over European giants Barcelona. Radoja found success in the Copa del Rey with his new squad, reaching the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in club history.
Signed with Levante ahead of the 2019-20 La Liga season. His first year at the club was highlighted by a 3-1 upset win over European powerhouse Barcelona in November 2019 that saw Radoja score Levante’s final goal.
In 2020-21, Radoja and Levante enjoyed another major success by reaching the semifinal of the Copa del Rey for the first time in club history before losing to Athletic Bilbao 3-2 on aggregate. Radoja made four starts and six total appearances during the momentous tournament run.
In his final season with Levante, Radoja started 18 of 20 matches in all competitions, including a 90-minute outing in a wild 3-3 draw against eventual La Liga and UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid in August 2021.
Celta Vigo (2014-2019)
Radoja’s standout season in 2013-14 attracted the attention of La Liga outfit Celta Vigo who he joined in August 2014. He took little time settling in as a key figure for Celta, regularly competing for a team that finished eighth in the 2014-15 La Liga table.
Radoja and Celta improved upon their fortunes in 2015-16 as he played 36 matches in all competitions, spearheading a sixth-place league finish, a semifinal appearance in the Copa del Rey and a berth in the 2016-17 edition of the UEFA Europa League.
Celta Vigo’s 2016-17 campaign was highlighted by admirable runs to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey as well as the UEFA Europa League, where they fell to eventual champions Manchester United in a narrow 2-1 aggregate defeat. Radoja started 45 of 50 matches over the course of the season, including 12 appearances in the Europa League, and scored his first La Liga goal in a 1-0 win over Alaves in January 2017.
Radoja played an additional 29 games for Celta over the next two seasons
Radoja developed in Vojvodina’s youth academy and joined the club’s senior team in 2011. He went out on a pair of brief loan spells at fellow Serbian sides CSK Celarevo and Cement Beocin.
After returning to Vojvodina, he became an integral contributor during the 2012-13 campaign as he made 22 league appearances, helping the team to a third-place finish in the Serbian SuperLiga and a run to the 2013 Serbian Cup Final.
The midfielder reached greater heights in the following season, starting in 25 league games and eight UEFA Europa League matches in addition to guiding Vojvodina to the 2014 Serbian Cup title with a 2-0 triumph over Jagodina in the final.
On the international stage, Radoja has two caps for the Serbia Men’s National Team. He earned his senior debut in a friendly match at Ukraine in November 2016 and made one appearance in Serbia’s successful qualifying campaign ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, featuring in a 3-0 win over Moldova in September 2017.
On the youth international stage, he represented Serbia at the U-18 through U-21 levels, notably playing every minute for his country in the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship with games against Paul Pogba and France, Harry Kane and England and Croatia.
Developed in Vojvodina’s youth academy and joined the club’s senior team in 2011 prior to brief loan spells at fellow Serbian sides CSK Celarevo and Cement Beocin.