Mario Mandzukic has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.
The former Croatian international played for Juventus as well as AC Milan in Serie A, and he played a fundamental role taking his native Croatia to the 2018 World Cup Final, which they lost 4-2 to France.
In a photo he posted on his Instagram page, he addresses a letter to his younger self and makes reference to his winning goal against England at the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
“Dear little Mario,” his letter began.
“While wearing these shoes for the first time, you can’t even imagine what you will experience in football. You will score goals in the most important stages and win the biggest trophies with the biggest clubs. By proudly representing your country, you will contribute to writing the history of Croatian sport.
“You will be successful because you will have good people around you: teammates, coaches, fans and family members, agents and friends who will always be there for you. You will be forever grateful to all of them!
“Above all, you will be successful because you will always give your all. In the end, this is what you will be most proud of. You will sacrifice a lot, but you will know that it was worth it because of all the amazing moments.
“You will recognize the time to retire, to put these boots in a closet and you will have no regrets. Football will always be part of your life, but you will be looking forward to a new chapter.
“Have fun! Your big Mario
“P.S. If you happen to play against England in the World Cup, be ready around the 109th minute.”