A couple of months after leaving Milan as a free agent, Mario Mandzukic has decided to hang his boots. The striker scored over 200 goals during the course of his illustrious career. The 35-year-old spent 5 years with Juventus, hitting the net 44 times and contributing to 4 Scudetti and 3 Coppe Italia. He also played with Dinamo Croatia, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid, taking home several domestic titles. He lifted the Champions League with the Bavarians in 2013.
Mandzukic finished as the second top scorer for Croatia with 33 goals, two shy of Davor Suker’s record. The forward joined Milan last January, but he could not contribute much due to a thigh injury. He featured in 11 total matches without scoring. He spent time at Al-Duhail between leaving the Bianconeri and heading back to Serie A.
Mandzukic took a page out of the LeBron James book and penned a letter to his younger self on Instagram to bid farewell. “Dear little Mario, while you put on these boots for the first time, you can’t even imagine what you will get to experience in football. You’ll score goals at the biggest stages, and you’ll win the biggest trophies with the biggest clubs. Proudly representing your nation, you will help write the history of Croatian sports.
“You’ll succeed because you’ll have good people around you, and you will be grateful to them. Above all, you’ll succeed because you’ll always give your best. At the end, that’s what you’ll be most proud of. You’ll sacrifice a lot, but you’ll know it was worth it because of all the amazing moments. You’ll recognize the moment to retire, to put these boots in a cabinet, and you’ll have no regrets. Football will always be a part of your life, but you’ll look forward to a new chapter.”