Manchester United Midfielder Nemanja Matic Retires from Intentional Football
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has retired from international football, the Serbian Football Association (FSS) made this known on Friday. The 32-year-old who signed a new contract for Manchester United recorded a total of just two goals in 48 appearances for Serbia, who still have a chance of reaching Euro 2020 to be held next year after it was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Serbia will be playing Norway in a playoff semi-final on the 8th of October and if they win, the Balkan nation will challenge either Scotland or Israel at home on November 12 for a place in the 24-team tournament to be held across Europe. FSS sports director Vladimir Matijasevic said: “Other than saying it was time for younger players to take over, Matic did not state any other specific reasons for quitting.”
He also said: “We respect his decision. He is 32 years old and he’s had an exerting club season. European club football is demanding and hence we are aware that we’ll have to inject fresh blood into the national team.” “We’ve got several players who are over the hill and we realise that some of them may call time on their international careers in the next year or two.”
Serbia will be playing Russia on the 3rd of September and host Turkey in Belgrade three days after they play Russia in their opening Nations League matches. The former Chelsea player Nemanja Matic made his senior national team debut in 2008 and was selected in the Serbian squad for the 2018 World Cup, playing all three group stage matches. Nemanja Matic played his last game for his country against Luxembourg on the 10th of September 2019.
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