Croatian legend Mario Mandzukic hangs up his shoes at the age of 35…with the former Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Juventus bowing forward with a brutal dig in England after THAT World Cup attack
- Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner stopped England in the 2018 final
- The forward has scored 261 goals in 671 appearances during a stellar career
- Mandzukic won league titles at both Bayern Munich and Juventus
- He also contributed to Croatia’s best tournament ever – despite defeat to France
Mario Mandzukic has announced his retirement from professional football, aiming a cheeky farewell shot at England.
The 35-year-old played 11 times for AC Milan last season without scoring and has made the decision to hang up his shoes, according to Fabrizio Romano, despite receiving two offers to continue in recent weeks following his release from the Rossoneri. play.
Mandzukic brought a message to his younger self and posted to Instagram to confirm the news.
Mario Mandzukic has hung up his shoes after a brilliant club and international career
The 35-year-old set a brutal dig at England in his retirement post after his World Cup strike
His 109-minute strike means England are still waiting for their first World Cup final since 1966
Talking about how he couldn’t believe what he had achieved in the sport, from playing on the biggest club-level podiums to making history with Croatia, he said he tried his best and had no regrets, ending his message with a reference to that 2018 World Cup semi-final: ‘PS If you happen to be playing against England in the World Cup, be ready around the 109th minute’.
Mandzukic made his debut for Croatian Marsonia in 2004 before making a real name for himself with giants Dinamo Zagreb a few years later, finishing as top scorer in 2008-09 as part of a title-winning squad as the team defended their crown the following year.
Mandzukic’s form earned him a move to Wolfsburg, where he had two solid, if unspectacular, years before making an immediate transfer where he finished as the club’s top scorer in two campaigns at the Allianz Arena, during which he took a an incredible eight trophies, including two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League.
After being dropped by Pep Guardiola for the 2014 German Cup final, Mandzukic revealed he wanted to leave the club, saying the Spaniard’s style “just doesn’t fit” his.
Atlético Madrid was his next destination, although Mandzukic again moved on quickly – this time after just one season – despite finishing his side once again at the top of his squad with 20, scoring what turned out to be the winner in the Spanish Super Cup against arch-rival Real Madrid. .
What followed was his longest stint with a club, Juventus, although his role under Massimiliano Allegri was not that of prime goalscorer, as Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and lately Cristiano Ronaldo stole the headlines in Turin. However, he did score a memorable overhead kick in the 2017 Champions League final to win UEFA’s goal of the season.
Nevertheless, he won four Serie A crowns and three Coppa Italia titles before switching Europe for Asia when Qatar came knocking, though he scored just twice in 10 appearances for Al-Duhail before one last hurray with Milan.
Mandzukic is best known in England for breaking hearts with that winner at Luzhniki Stadium.
The tall striker also provided comfort in the final as France won 4-2 in Moscow, with Croatia achieving its best ever result at a major tournament.
A month after the game, he retired from international football as the country’s second-highest goalscorer with 33 goals after Davor Suker.
Following his latest Instagram announcement of his retirement, a host of elite athletes paid tribute to Mandzukic, including former Juve teammates Giorgio Chiellini and Patrice Evra and former US Open winner and compatriot Marin Cilic