|Full name||Nikola Jovanovi?|
|Date of birth||18 September 1952|
|Place of birth||
Cetinje, PR Montenegro,|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|1975-1979||Red Star Belgrade||75||(1)|
|1981-1982||-> Budu?nost Titograd (loan)||12||(1)|
|2003-2007||Dom?ale (sports dir)|
|2013-||Budu?nost Podgorica (sports dir)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Nikola "Nikki" Jovanovi? (Cyrillic: Jo?a?o; born 18 September 1952) is a retired Montenegrin footballer. Representing Yugoslavia during his career, he is known for being first player from outside the British Isles and Ireland to join Manchester United. He is now a sports director of FK Budu?nost Podgorica.
Jovanovi? was one of the most successful players of, then Yugoslav, giant Red Star where he played as a defender and had an impressive overall record of 359 matches and 50 goals for the Belgrade side. He then made history when he became the first Yugoslav footballer to play for leading English league side Manchester United, where he made 21 Football League appearances in the early 1980s after being signed by manager Dave Sexton. In addition, he was the first non-British Isles player to be signed by the club -- Italian-born Carlo Sartori, who played for United during the 1960s and 1970s, moved to Manchester as a child and came through the club's youth system. Before signing for Manchester United he turned down an offer from Bayern Munich and decided in favour of the English side. In January 1980, Manchester United made Jovanovi? one of the club's most expensively signed players at the time by paying £300,000 for his services to Red Star (it was Red Star's and Yugoslav First League record transfer fee at the time). However, his time at Old Trafford was short lived and he failed to justify his transfer fee. By the end of his first season he began suffering from chronic back pain and before long was on his way back to his native Yugoslavia. After being injured for almost two seasons he retired at the age of 31.
Jovanovi? made his debut for Yugoslavia in an April 1979 European Championship qualification away against Cyprus and has earned a total of 7 caps, scoring no goals. He was part of the squad at the 1982 FIFA World Cup and his final international was a June 1982 World Cup match against Honduras in Zaragoza.
Born in Cetinje, present day Montenegro, he resides with his family in Menge?, Slovenia. He has worked as sports director at Slovenian club NK Dom?ale and was offered jobs as Montenegrin national team coach and as sports director at former club Budu?nost. He took up the latter role in summer 2013.