Mario Stanic, who reached the 1998 FIFA World Cup semi-finals with Croatia, is to retire at the age of 32 due to a serious knee injury.
The Sarajevo-born midfield player still has a year left on his Chelsea FC contract, but managed only five appearances his last season, and his only game in 2004 was the last eight minutes of his club's closing Premiership fixture with Leeds United AFC in May.
Stanic said: "I have been suffering from a knee injury for a long time and I can no long make the full effort. I talked to the club officials and I have announced that I am going to quit. We have agreed about payments from the last year of my contract."
He made his international debut in 1995 and was capped 49 times, scoring seven international goals, and playing at EURO '96™ as well as the 1998 and 2002 World Cup finals. Stanic began his club career with NK Željeznicar, before moving to NK Croatia (Dinamo) Zagreb - where he won the 1992/93 Croatian championship - Sporting Gijón, SL Benfica, Club Brugge KV, helping his team to the 1995/96 Belgian domestic double, and Parma AC, claiming the Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. He joined Chelsea for nearly €8m in 2000.
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