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National Teams > Men > A

Mandžukić international retirement

"I've given my best
for Croatia"

14.08.2018.
"I've given my best for Croatia"
photo by: HNS
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Croatia's second best goalscorer in history, Mario Mandžukić, decided to retire from international football following the winning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup silver medal.

Dear fans,

I have always preferred to speak on the pitch, rather than off the pitch.

Therefore, it is more difficult to express these words than to tackle the opponent or sprint in 120th minute. More difficult, since I am aware how much joy all the international matches and victories bring to me. More difficult, since I am aware that there is nothing more emotional than listening to the national anthem before the kick-off. More difficult, since I am aware what an honour it is to wear Croatia jersey and to represent my country. More difficult, since I am aware that this is a final decision, and that there is no return.

However, I am aware that this is the time to say it:

I'm retiring from the Croatia squad.

World Cup silver has given me new energy, but it has also made this incredibly difficult decision a bit easier. 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. This has been the most beautiful national team journey, and my favourite return to homeland. I am more than happy, fulfilled, and extremely proud of this silver, that has been forged through years, through pain, effort, work, disappointment, and difficult moments.

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.

14 years ago, in youth categories, I was wearing this sacred jersey for the first time. From then onwards, I have met, played with, and worked with many excellent players, managers, coaches, and other national team staff. We have all had the same objective - to give everything for Croatia's success. I thank them all, since they have all made a mark on my career. On that path, my family and closest friends were with me, and I thank them for all of their support.

Finally, I would like to thank the fans.

No one is perfect. I have missed opportunities, lost the ball, and made mistakes at passing.

However, I have always given my best, playing my heart out. Thank you for recognizing this, and standing by me and by Croatia.

As of today, my place is alongside you - among the most loyal Croatia fans.

Love, Mandžo

 

 

Dragi navijači, uvijek sam više volio govoriti na terenu nego izvan njega. Stoga mi i ove riječi dolaze malo teže nego što mi je bilo uklizati protivniku ili istrčati sprint u 120. minuti. Teže, jer znam koliko radosti mi donose sva okupljanja, utakmice i pobjede. Teže, jer znam da je slušanje Lijepe naše prije utakmice najveća emocija. Teže, jer znam kakva je čast obući hrvatski dres i predstavljati svoju zemlju. Teže, jer znam da je ovo konačno i da nakon ovih riječi više nema povratka. Pa ipak, znam da je vrijeme baš za te riječi... Opraštam se od hrvatske reprezentacije. Koliko god me srebro napunilo novom energijom, ujedno mi je olakšalo ovu nemoguće tešku odluku. Doživjeli smo svoj san, napravili povijesni uspjeh i pritom osjetili nevjerojatnu ljubav navijača. Tih mjesec dana, kao i dočeci u Zagrebu, Slavonskom Brodu i cijeloj Hrvatskoj, ostat će najvažnija uspomena moje karijere. Bilo je to najljepše putovanje s reprezentacijom i najdraži povratak kući. Presretan sam, ispunjen i do neba ponosan na to srebro koje smo kovali godinama, kroz puno muke, truda, rada, razočaranja i teških trenutaka. Nema idealnog trenutka za odlazak. Da možemo, vjerujem da bismo svi nastupali za Hrvatsku dok smo živi jer većeg ponosa nema. No, osjećam da je za mene taj trenutak sada. Da sam dao najbolje od sebe, da sam dao doprinos najvećem uspjehu hrvatskog nogometa. Prije 14 godina, prvi puta sam kao juniorski reprezentativac obukao sveti dres. Od tada sam upoznao, igrao i radio s puno odličnih suigrača, izbornika, trenera i ljudi oko reprezentacije. Svi smo imali isti cilj - dati sve za uspjeh Hrvatske. Zahvaljujem svima, jer je svatko na neki način ostavio trag u mojoj karijeri. Na tom putu sa mnom su uvijek bili moji najbliži, kojima zahvaljujem na velikoj podršci. I na kraju, hvala navijačima. Nitko od nas nije savršen. Promašivao sam prilike, gubio lopte ili krivo dodavao. No, uvijek sam dao sve od sebe i ostavio srce na terenu. Hvala vam što ste to prepoznali i bili uz mene i reprezentaciju. Od danas, moje je mjesto s vama - među najvjernijim navijačima Hrvatske. Voli vas Mandžo ❤️🇭🇷 #mm17🌪

A post shared by Mario Mandžukić MM 17 (@mariomandzukic_official) on 

 

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