Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic retires from international football Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic has announced his retirement from international football.
The forward, who played a starring role in his country’s run to the World Cup final in Russia, ends his international career as Croatia’s second-highest goalscorer. At 32, Mandzukic believes now is the right time to bow out after a remarkable summer. “World Cup silver has given me new energy, but it has also made this incredibly difficult decision a bit easier,” Mandzukic wrote in an official statement.
“We have made our dreams come true, achieved a historic success, and experienced an unbelievable fan support. That month, including the welcome in Zagreb, Slavonski Brod, and the entire Croatia, will remain the most important memory of my career.
“There is no ideal moment to retire. If possible, we would all play for Croatia until we die, since there is no prouder feeling, but I feel this moment has come for me – now. I’ve given my best for Croatia, I have contributed to the biggest success of Croatian football.”
The Juventus striker scored three times at the World Cup, including the extra-time winner against England in the semi-final.
He also scored at both ends in the 4-2 final defeat to France, heading into his own goal before giving Croatia hope by closing down a Hugo Lloris clearance.
That was to be the last of his 89 caps, the striker bowing out with a message to supporters, saying: “As of today, my place is alongside you – among the most loyal Croatia fans.” https://www.eurosport.co.uk/football/croatia-striker-mario-mandzukic-retires-from-international-football_sto6888516/story.shtml