Nemanja Matic calls time on his Serbia career

Nemanja Matic has scored two goals in 48 appearances for the Serbian national team, which still has a chance of reaching the Euros to be held next year.

Nemanja Matic

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has retired from international football (File Photo).   -  Getty Images

Serbia and Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has decided to end his international career in order to make way for younger players, the Serbian Football Association (FSS) said on Friday.

The United enforcer was not immediately available for comment but FSS sports director Vladimir Matijasevic was quoted as saying by Belgrade media that Matic was determined to hang up his Serbia boots.

“Other than saying it was time for younger players to take over, Matic did not state any other specific reasons for quitting,” said Matijasevic.

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“We respect his decision. He is 32 years old and he's had an exerting club season. European club football is demanding and hence we are aware that we'll have to inject fresh blood into the national team.

“We've got several players who are over the hill and we realise that some of them may call time on their international careers in the next year or two.”

Matic, who joined United from Chelsea in 2017, has scored two goals in 48 appearances for Serbia, which still has a chance of reaching Euro 2020 to be held next year after it was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Serbia visits Norway in a playoff semifinal on October 8 and should it win, the Balkan nation will be at home to either Scotland or Israel on November 12 for a berth in the 24-team tournament to be held across Europe.

Serbia visits Russia on September 3 and entertains Turkey in Belgrade three days later in its opening Nations League matches.

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