Dejan Lovren has announced his retirement from the Croatia national team, after making 78 appearances over 13 years. The defender currently plays for Lyon, in his second spell and will continue his club career for the foreseeable future.
The last time he wore the national team jersey was the third place play-off between them and Morocco at the 2022 World Cup. He played every game of Croatia’s miraculous 2018 World Cup run where they reached the final. And he also played a very important part in their success this time around.
Dejan Lovren announces retirement from Croatia national team
‘I want to address you today with some somber news, but believe me, the decision that I am about to announce is one that I made with an open heart and a lot of consideration,’ the ex-Liverpool star began.
‘This announcement does not come easily to me, and while I am writing this letter, I am doing my best not to cry, but I hope 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 remain a huge supporter of the Vetrani and will follow the team in each coming match.
Dejan Lovren added: ‘I want to tell every single young football player in the country that they must look at the Croatian national team as a completely other dimension of football – look at these players as your superheroes.’
‘So many emotions went through me, especially in 2018 and 2022, and I find it difficult to put these experiences into words.
‘I lived my life in hope that I would get to experience moments like those, and when they did come, I lived them with immense pride. These memories will remain in my heart forever.’
‘I want to thank all of my former and current teammates on this beautiful, unforgettable journey. We had our ups and downs, we cried together and we celebrated together, and I’ll always carry you in my heart,’ he said.
‘I spent more than a decade playing with some of you. I see you as my brother, and you stood by me in my toughest moments. Thank you,’ said Dejan Lovren at his end note.