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Nikolic Retires From International Duty

The Fire #9 has played for Hungary for the last time

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Nemanja Nikolic’s international career is over.

In a Facebook post last week, the Chicago Fire forward announced that he informed the Hungarian Football Federation that he was retiring from the national team. Nikolic, 30, said that he wants to prioritize his obligations to the Fire as well as spend more time with his wife and two children (both of whom live in Chicago).

Nikolic said that it was a difficult decision, but ultimately the right one. He also thanked the coaching and administrative staff at the MLSZ for being understanding and supportive of the decision.

Nikolic was first capped for Hungary in 2013 and has made 27 appearances for Nemzeti Tizenegy. The official Fire website says he’s scored five international goals, while Wikipedia credits him with six. His last major tournament with the national team was Euro 2016, in which Hungary won their group— Niko was instrumental in Hungary’s goal in their 1-1 draw with Iceland, though the goal was ultimately credited as an own goal— but went out in the Round of 16 after a 4-0 drubbing by Belgium.

Below is a Google Translate rendition of Nikolic’s announcement:

It is difficult to shut down any era that is particularly important to man: I am very grateful for the years I have spent on the National National Football Team. I’ve never regretted anything. I’d do it the same way I did when I decided to become a hungarian citizen because I was hoping to introduce myself to the national team. I got a lot of Hungarian football, and I think I gave it to Hungarian football. I am proud of every game that I have entered, and I am grateful to those who have trusted me, including the Hungarian team’s fantastic fans, who have held on to the team in the difficult times. I was able to draw a lot of strength from the love of the fans, and I felt that they supported me for better or worse and stood by me.

I have made a difficult decision, but I think this is the right move, from now on, I want to focus exclusively on my club career, and I am trying to continue to represent the Hungarian football abroad. My decision was first given to the president of I, the president of the I, who I thank you for taking my decision very correctly. I also informed the federal captain, who also understood and accepted that I had decided. I’m a perfectionist, I never fell back, so, of course, I know it could have been a lot more in my national career. But I don’t have any bad memories or bitterness, it’s just that I want to spend all my energy on club football in the future, and I want to spend as much time as possible with my family in the United States. A professional player rarely talks about it honestly, but at this moment, maybe I can tell you that I want to be a good family father, and that takes time.