Olympique Lyonnais defender Dejan Lovren has retired from international action with Croatia to focus on club football.
Lovren announced his decision today via social media. He debuted for his country in 2009 and has represented them at three World Cups and the European Championship.
The 33-year-old was part of Zlatko Dalic’s team that reached the final of the 2018 World Cup. He was also part of the squad as they won third place at the 2022 edition.
Lovren played in the team that crashed out of the 2020 European Championship in the round of 16. He has earned 78 caps for his country, scoring five goals.
His announcement read: “Dear teammates, dear Croatia fans, I want to address you today with some sombre news, but believe me, the decision that I am about to announce is one that I made with an open heart and after a lot of consideration.
“This announcement doesn’t come easily to me, and while I am writing this letter, I am doing my best not to cry, but I hope that by now you have come to know me as a man with heart and a man that does not hide his emotions.
“The time has come for me to say my final goodbye to the Croatian national team, though I will forever remain a huge supporter of the Vatreni and will follow the team in each coming match.”
The former Liverpool centre-back thanked his previous coaches for his experience. He urged the younger players coming through to use the team’s achievements in the past five years as an example.
Despite being a relatively small European nation, Croatia have performed remarkably well in recent tournaments. They have earned plaudits for their tactical set-up and execution.
As Lovren closes one chapter of his life, he keeps going with Lyon. He returned to the club after almost ten years in January.
Lyon are outside the European places despite sacking former head coach Peter Bosz. New manager Laurent Blanc has them playing more exciting football, but the results haven’t improved.
However, they face the bottom of the Ligue 1 table Angers SCO this weekend with a chance to claim crucial three points.
Lovren will likely start that game alongside Castello Lukeba or Sinaly Diomande.
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