Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is seriously considering quitting international football, disclosing the decision during an interview in the aftermath of his Serbia sides' defeat against Czech Republic in Ostrava on Friday.
Matic has been a stellar figure for the Serbian national team and if he decides to end his international career at such an early age, it will be huge loss for the country.
Reason for the decision
Citing the main reason for contemplating on quitting, Matic questioned the commitment of several teammates playing for the national squad.
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Sky Sports quoted the 27-year-old saying: “I always try to lead by example but some people don’t want to see that. The attitude of some players is unacceptable, not just on the pitch but off it too, and it was obvious from the moment we got together on Monday.”
Before divulging any further details Matic revealed that he had also discussed with coach Radovan Curcic regarding the issue.
He added:”I told our coach [Radovan Curcic] there is no point in me carrying on with the national team if things don’t change. I’d really like to know whether some of my team-mates apply the same poor working ethic at their clubs as they do in the national team most of the time.”
Serbia had a dismal Euro qualifier campaign ending it by finishing fourth in Group I behind Portugal, Denmark and Albania and will not take any part in the tournament scheduled to take place next year in France.
Losing five out of eight matches dented any hopes of making the cut for Euro 2016 for Serbia.
More to follow
Although only a friendly, the manner in which Serbia lost to Czech Republic proved to be the last straw for Matic who is running out of patience due to his colleagues’ appalling showing every time they take the field in national colours.
Daily Mail claim the dreadful display might cost Curcic as well as the national team managing director, Savo Milosevic their jobs in the coming days.
The ex-Aston Villa striker Milosevic said: “Reading between the lines of Curcic’s statement after the Czech game, one could see that he is on the brink of stepping down and I am in the same boat with him.”
“I have asked for support and patience from the players in the past eight months but their lack of commitment is quite simply indefensible.”
It is not the first time Matic has been in the news while at national duty. In 2012, he refused to take to the field as long as Sinisa Mihajlovic remained the boss as he felt he was not given the right opportunities by the coach.
On the back of Chelsea’s disastrous start to the 2015-16 season, many consider Matic’s plummeting form compared to last season being one of the reasons. But the commitment of the Serbian can never be questioned whether on match days or during training seasons.
Glimpses of his world-class talent has been observed in recent weeks, however the results have not favoured the Blues.
The defensive midfielder debuted for Serbia in December 2008 against Poland and has been a part of the Serbian team since, earning 26 national caps to date.
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