Mario Mandžukić has today announced the end of his playing career after seventeen years on the pitch that resulted in over 400 club appearances (over 160 goals) and 89 international caps (33 goals) for Croatia national team.
The Former AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Wolfsburg striker announced the news in an emotional Instagram post. He wrote:
“Dear little Mario,
While you put on these boots for the first time, you can’t even imagine what you will get to experience in football. You’ll score goals at the biggest stages and you’ll win the biggest trophies with the biggest clubs. Proudly representing your nation, you will help write the history of Croatian sports.You’ll succeed because you’ll have good people around you – teammates, coaches, fans, and family, agent and friends who will always be there for you. You’ll be forever grateful to all of them!Above all, you’ll succeed because you’ll always give your best. At the end, that’s what you’ll be most proud of. You’ll sacrifice a lot, but you’ll know it was worth it because of all the amazing moments.You’ll recognize the moment to retire, to put these boots in a cabinet and you’ll have no regrets. Football will always be a part of your life, but you’ll look forward to a new chapter.
Your big Mario
P.S. If you happen to play vs England in the World Cup, just be ready around 109th minute”
The 35-year-old Croat was linked with a deadline day move having completed last season at AC Milan but despite being offered to some big European clubs, it seems Mandzukic has already made the decision to call time on his playing career.