With 55 caps to his name, 30-year-old midfielder decided to leave the Croatian national football team upon return from the World Cup in Brazil, where he was an unused substitute. Ognjen Vukojević’s announcement was communicated in a letter to the Croatian Football Federation president Davor Šuker:
“I would like to inform you of my decision to retire from the national team. I have played at two European Championships and one World Cup, playing 55 times and scoring four goals.
“In this very emotional moment for me, I would like to thank the Croatian Football Federation for everything that was done for the national team, to our loyal supporters that have always stood by our side, to former managers Slaven Bilić and Igor Štimac for everything they have done for the national team and me personally, for all of my teammates with whom I have fought for Croatia’s victories, and to the entire Croatian public.
“I would especially like to thank my club, Dynamo Kiev, and president Igor Surkis, for all the support during my international career. I also thank my friends and family for support and understanding, without them I would never be so successful. I will always remember my international career, our national team remains at a special place in my heart. I wish Croatia a successful future, starting at the European Championships 2016”.
Vukojević was in Croatia’s squad at three major tournaments, coming on as a substitute at EURO 2008 against Austria and playing the whole 90 minutes against Poland, and playing all three first round matches at EURO 2012. At the World Cup in Brazil he did not play, and his last international match was a friendly against Mali.
Vukojević scored four international goals, against Estonia, Malta, Kazakhstan, and Slovakia on 16 October 2007, on his international debut. He was capped 16 times for Croatia U-21’s and one time for Croatia U-20’s. (Drago Sopta / HNS)