He announced his retirement from the Croatian national team at the age of 33 on Thursday (23/02), the Dejan Lovren. The Lyon defender wore the Croatian shirt for 13 years, making 78 appearances with five goals and one assist in all competitions.
He participated in three World Cups (2014, 2018, 2022), one Euro (2020), with highlights being his presence in the World Cup final in 2018 and the 3rd place in the Qatar tournament two months ago.
He announced his decision in a post on social media, stating that he will always see himself as an ardent fan who will always cheer on his national team.
“Dear teammates, dear Croatia fans, I want to address you today with some bad news, but believe me, the decision I’m about to announce to you is one I made after a lot of thought. This announcement does not come easily to me, and as I write 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 a heart and a man who does not hide his feelings. It’s time to say the final goodbye to the Croatian national team, although I will forever remain a big supporter of them and follow them to every next match.
As a child, I dreamed of playing in major competitions and being able to wear the Croatia shirt. I first wore it when I was nine years old and I will never forget that special feeling – like wearing Superman’s cape. I felt strong, confident and fearless, just like my favorite superhero. Words cannot fully capture this feeling. I will always remember October 8, 2009 as my first appearance for Croatia.
I played in all the youth teams, but I always wanted to reach the top of that mountain and become a starter in the senior team. For me, playing for “Vatreni” would allow me to show what I can do in front of the whole world. To be honest, at first I expected more from myself. There were several matches where I was disappointed with the way I played, where I thought I could have given a lot more, but it took a while for things to fall into place for me.
To be even more painfully honest, at one point I even considered leaving Vatreni long before it was time for me to retire. C***, I was young and not very patient. I hope you don’t take that against me because ultimately I listened to my heart and kept playing – and you, the fans, were a huge part of that decision. I want to tell every young footballer in the country that they should see the Croatian national team as a whole other dimension of football – see these players as your superheroes.
The most beautiful chapters in the history of my national team were the ones we wrote in the last five years. This is, if I’m honest, still an absolute dream for me. So many emotions went through me, especially in 2018 and 2022, and I find it hard to put these experiences into words. I lived my life hoping that I would be able to experience such moments and, when they came, I experienced them with immense pride. These memories will forever remain in my heart“, Lovren wrote among others.
Check out this Instagram post.
Source: Sport Fm
I am currently a news writer for News Bulletin247 where I mostly cover sports news. I have always been interested in writing and it is something I am very passionate about. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family and friends.