Football

Mario Mandzukic retires from football

One of the great Croatian strikers, Mario Mandzukic announced this Friday that he was hanging up his boots.

One of the great Croatian strikers, Mario Mandzukic announced this Friday that he was hanging up his boots.

Mario Mandzukic has hung up his boots. The Croatian footballer, via social media, announced that he has put an end to his career which has seen him go to Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb, Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Al Duhail and finally, AC Milan.

16 years which have seen Mario Mandzukic keep on scoring and winning. More than a decade and a half which has seen him join big clubs in Italy, Spain and Germany.

“Dear little Mario. When you put on these boots for the first time, you will not be able to imagine what you will experience in football. You will score goals in the most important stadia and you will win the most important trophies with the biggest clubs. You will represent your nation with pride, you will help to write the history of Croatian sport,” he wrote.

“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,” he continued.

The Croatian did not want to forget anything or anybody: “You’ll triumph because you’ll always give your best. In the end, that is what you’ll be most proud of. You’ll sacrifice a lot, but you know that it was really worth it because of all the amazing moments.”

Lastly, Mario Mandzukic wanted to recall the goal he scored against England in the 2018 World Cup to send Croatia into the final.

Mandzukic began his career at Zagreb. He later made the step up to sign for Dinamo Zagreb. The striker then moved from Croatia.

The striker caught the attention of Wolfsburg in Germany. He lasted two seasons before Bayern signed him.

He spent two years at Bayern Munich which allowed him to score 51 goals and become one of the best strikers on the planet. But Mandzukic wanted a new challenge and he left for Spain.

There he was received by the then La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. Together with Antoine Griezmann, he formed one of the best strike partnerships in the tournament.

That said, Mandzukic was a man who liked travelling. He lasted just one year in Madrid before going to Juventus, where he became a legend. The Croatian was at the Bianconeri for four years, but age began to catch up with him and he played less.

He then moved to Qatar before joining AC Milan in Serie A. He was then alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but their injuries prevented them from playing together.

Few players have managed to get a trophy list as large and as enviable as Mandzukic has. He has always chosen the right moment to move on and that has seen him win many trophies.

Nine league titles – three in Croatia, four in Italy, two in Germany -, Seven cups – two in Croatia, three in Italy and two in Germany -, four Super Cups – two in Italy, one in Germany and one in Spain -, as well as the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup for Bayern.

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