Dario Šimić, Croatia's most-capped player, has retired from football aged 34.
The defender returned to NK Dinamo Zagreb from AS Monaco FC in April after 11 years playing abroad, but feels he is no longer able to perform to the required standard for a team preparing to face Győri ETO FC in the UEFA Europa League play-offs on 19 and 26 August. Šimić has now enrolled in Croatia's coaching academy and hopes to work in management in the future.
"I have been thinking about this decision for a month and decided to retire," Šimić said. "I feel I am not at the level that Dinamo need for competing in Europe. I am thinking about a coaching job, I am going to the coaching academy and we possibly could see each other next time in a different role."
Šimić, a former Dinamo youth product, made his senior debut in 1992, going on to total more than 150 appearances and winning five Croatian titles before a 1999 switch to FC Internazionale Milano. Three years later he made the short move to AC Milan, helping them to two UEFA Champions League victories before joining Monaco in 2008. That was the year of his international retirement, having won exactly 100 caps and played at six major tournaments, most notably claiming 1998 FIFA World Cup bronze.
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