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Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic has announce retirement from International football with immediate effect.
Mario Mandzukic’s Croatia had a dream run in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
After having a dream in the World Cup in Russia and ending up as runners-up, Mandzukic has decided its time to call it a day. The 32-year old has played 89 matches and scored 33 goals for Croatia. He is also second leading goal-scorer of his country only behind former player Davor Suker.
Mandzukic announced his retirement by releasing a statement on Tuesday:
“Dear fans, I always preferred to do my talking on the pitch than off it. That is why these words are harder than slide-tackling an opponent or sprinting in the 120th minute. It is harder as I know how much joy all the gatherings, matches and victories bring. It is harder as I know that listening to ‘Lijepa Nasa’ before a match is the biggest emotion. It’s harder because it is an honour to wear the Croatian shirt and to represent my country. It is harder because I know this is final and after these words, there is no coming back.”
The Juventus forward further added:
“But, it is time nevertheless for these words. I am retiring from the Croatian national team. However much the silver medal gave me new energy, it made this tough decision easier. I experienced my dream, achieved historic success and felt the unbelievable love of the fans. Thank you, everybody, because everyone in their own way left a mark on my career. I always had my closest friends alongside me, and I thank them for their great support.”
Mandzukic also seeked forgiveness to the fans for all the chances he missed and for all the times he disappointed them.
“And finally, thank you to the fans. Nobody is perfect. I missed chances, lost the ball and made bad passes. But, I always gave it my all and left my heart on the pitch. Thank you for recognising that and being with me and the Croatian national team. Love, Mandzo.”
In 2007, Mandzukic made his debut for Croatia. He has participated in four major International tournaments Euro 2012, World Cup 2014, Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018. He bids farewell also being Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013.