Dejan Lovren Retires from Croatia National Team

Daniela Rogulj

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You can find Dejan Lovren’s letter to his fans transcribed below. 

“Dear national team, dear loyal fans,

I want to address you with some sad news, but believe me; I made this decision with an open heart and after much thought. This is quite difficult for me, and while I’m writing this, I’m trying not to cry, but you already know me well as a person with a heart and undisguised emotions.

The day has come when I have to say goodbye to the Croatia national team, even though I still see myself as an ardent fan who will always cheer on his national team.

As a child, I dreamed I would play in big tournaments in that most beautiful shirt with the checkers on it. I first wore those red and white checkers when I was nine years old, and I will never forget that special feeling – as if I was wearing Superman’s cape. Like my hero Superman, I felt powerful, confident, and fearless.


I will forever remember October 8, 2009, as the official debut for my homeland.

I went through all the youth selections, but I always wanted to feel the top of the pyramid, which is the A national team. This is where I could show my true skills to the whole world.

Honestly, I expected more from myself in the beginning. I was disappointed several times with my performances, I thought I could give a lot more, but some things didn’t add up. I once even considered leaving you early. Youth-craziness, I didn’t have much patience with myself. I hope you didn’t take it for granted because in the end, I listened to my heart and continued, mainly because of you, dear fans.

I want to tell all young footballers that you should look at the Croatia national team differently than anything else – look at them as your superheroes.

The most beautiful side of this national team story is all we have achieved in the past five years. It’s still like a big dream to me. So many emotions passed through me, especially in 2018 and 2022, that it is difficult to describe. I lived for such moments and experienced them with the greatest pride. I will never forget them, I will carry them forever in my heart.

I want to thank all the coaches for their cooperation, starting with my first one, Slaven Bilić, then through Igor Štimac, Nika Kovač, and Ante Čačić to Zlatko Dalić. Each of you left something behind, and I will be forever grateful because I learned a lot from each of you.

I want to thank all former and current teammates for a wonderful and unforgettable journey. We have had our ups and downs, laughed and cried together, and I will have you all in my heart forever. I have played with some of you for more than ten years together. I experience you as my brothers, you were there for me when I was really having a hard time. Thank you very much.

Thanks to all the people behind the scenes who have been there since day one. I can’t name everyone in order, but we know very well who these people are. You are the core of this national team, you are not in the headlines, and maybe you don’t get too much attention, but believe me – without you, we are nobody and nothing.

Finally, I would like to say that you have one new fan from now on. As before, we stand by each other, because our unity is of inestimable importance for the Croatia national team, it is our greatest strength.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Your Dejan”

Lovren played his last match for the Croatia national team in the 2022 World Cup semi-final against Argentina. He recorded 78 caps and five goals for Croatia throughout his national team career.  

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