Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has retired from international football, the Serbian Football Association (FSS) said on Friday.
Matic, 32, scored 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 visit Norway in a playoff semi-final on October 8 and should 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.
“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 visit Russia on September 3 and host Turkey in Belgrade three days later in their opening Nations League matches.
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.
He earned his final cap for Serbia against Luxembourg on 10 September 2019.
Copyright © 2024 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.