Nemanja Matic: Manchester United midfielder retires from playing for Serbia

Matic, 32, made 48 international appearances after making his debut in 2008

Nemanja Matic has called time on his international career to make way for Serbia's younger players
Image: Nemanja Matic has called time on his international career to make way for Serbia's younger players

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.

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

Serbia visit Norway in a playoff semi-final on October 8 and should they win, the Balkan nation will challenge either Scotland or Israel at home on November 12 for a place in the 24-team tournament to be held across Europe.

FSS sports director Vladimir Matijasevic said: "Other than saying it was time for younger players to take over, Matic did not state any other specific reasons for quitting.

Matic featured in each of United's final nine Premier League games after the season restart
Image: Matic featured in each of United's final nine Premier League games after the season restart

"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."

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Serbia visit Russia on September 3 and host Turkey in Belgrade three days later in their opening Nations League matches.

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