Sports Monks

Mario Mandzukic retires from international football

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic has called time on his stint with the national team after 11 fruitful years. Mandzukic explained that Croatia’s runners-up finish at the World Cup in Russia made his decision easier and that he feels he is going out on top, having achieved everything he started out to.

The Juventus striker announced his decision on an Instagram post which read: “As much as silver fills me with new energy, it has made it easier for me to make this impossible decision.

'We have experienced our dreams, made historical success and felt the incredible love of fans. This month, as well as the arrival in Zagreb, will remain the most important memory of my career.

'There is no ideal time to go. If we can, I believe that we all would play for Croatia while we live because there is no bigger pride. But I feel that the moment is now.

I thank everyone, because everyone in some way left a mark in my career. Along the way with me, they were always my closest friends, and I thank them for their great support.

'Finally, thank you for the supporters. None of us is perfect. I missed the opportunity, lost the ball or misunderstood. But I always gave myself up and left my heart in the field. Thank you for having recognized it and being with me and the team.'

The 32-year-old scored in the World Cup final against France but was unable to lead his side to victory. However, it remained a successful campaign for the Fiery Hearts as they got the better of Denmark, Russia and England in the knockout stages.

Mandzukic will bow out of the international stage having scored 33 goals in 89 matches for his nation.

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