Vidic hangs up international boots

PA Sport
Nemanja Vidic
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Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has retired from international football with Serbia.

The 30-year-old claims he is tired of criticism from supporters who have questioned his commitment to the national team.

In an open letter to the Serbian Football Federation (FSS) published on fss.rs, Vidic wrote: "I want to inform the public that after long consideration, and with a heavy heart, I have decided to say goodbye to the Serbian national team."

The letter continued: "The main reason for this decision is that for a long time, the media, and therefore the public, have criticised my attitude towards the national team even though I have played when injured and sometimes against the will of my club.

"I feel, after 10 years of playing for my country, it is the right time for me to stand aside and allow the younger players to come through.

"I would like to thank all the managers, coaches and players I have played alongside. I have always been very proud to play for Serbia and would like to wish them well in future tournaments."

Vidic made his full Serbia debut in October 2002 in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Italy in Naples and went on to win 56 caps, scoring two goals.

An FSS statement read: "The Football Association of Serbia wishes to thank Nemanja Vidic for everything he has provided for Serbian football, especially playing for the national team.

"His behaviour, commitment and attitude towards the national team deserves praise and a special place in the history of this sport in our country.

"While we respect his decision, we want to emphasise the door to the national team is not closed and, should all the conditions be met, it would be a great honour if he rejoined the team."

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