Striker Nemanja Nikolics to Quit Hungarian National Football Team
Hungary’s most successful football player, Nemanja Nikolics has posted a message to his Facebook channel announcing that he will be retiring from the Hungarian national team and focusing exclusively on his club carrier and his family from now on.
He has played a total of 27 matches for Hungary scoring 6 goals, he participated in the 2016 Euro Cup, where he played in two games. According to Transfermarkt, the 31-year-old striker is currently worth 4.5 million Euros which makes him the most valuable Hungarian footballer. He currently plays for the US club Chicago Fire, where among other successes he won the MLS Golden Boot Trophy , scoring 24 goals last season.
At only 31, his retirement may be surprising for many; it hasn’t come completely unexpectedly, however, as although selected he was often left off of the playing team or sent in to play only a few minutes despite his outstanding performance at the club level. Accordingly, he often seemed frustrated after the games, noting once that he has yet to consider whether it is worth or not to fly overseas only to “warm the bench”. Most however agree that his performance on the national team hasn’t always matched his performance club play. Thus, fans are rather divided: some agree with him, blaming the coaches for neglecting him, while others are more critical, insisting that the national team has a unique importance and other factors such as money, convenience or resentment shouldn’t play a role when it comes to donning the Hungarian colors.
Nemanja Nikolics is not only happy but also successful in Chicago. Image via 24.hu
Nikolics was born in Senta (Zenta), Yugoslavia to a Serbian father and Hungarian mother; he obtained Hungarian citizenship in 2011. After leaving his first club FK Senta, he played in two lower league Hungarian sides, before the then top tier team Kaposvári Rákóczi signed him in 2008. Two years later he switched to Videoton, and led his team to two Hungarian Football Championships. In addition, he twice was the top scorer and reached Europe League group stage. Polish top club Legia Warszawa signed him in 2015; there, he won the Polish championship, qualified in the Champions League group stage, and was named the footballer of the year in Poland. In 2016, he decided to move to the US to play in Chicago Fire.